Cryptocurrency exchange Binance banned by UK regulator

Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, speaks during a television interview in Tokyo, Japan on Thursday, January 11, 2018.

Akio Kon | Bloomberg | fake images

LONDON – The country’s markets regulator has banned crypto exchange Binance from operating in the UK, in the latest sign of a growing crackdown on the crypto market around the world.

Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority said on Saturday that Binance Markets Limited, the British division of Binance, “may not conduct any regulated activity in the UK.”

From June 30, the company, which already offers cryptocurrency trading to the British through its website, has to add a notice in a prominent place on its website and applications showing UK users the following text:

BINANCE MARKETS LIMITED IS NOT PERMITTED TO CARRY OUT ANY REGULATED ACTIVITY IN THE UK Due to the imposition of requirements by the FCA, Binance Markets Limited is currently unable to conduct any regulated activity without the prior written consent of the FCA. (No other entity in the Binance Group holds any kind of authorization, registration or license in the UK to conduct regulated activities in the UK.)

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volumes, was set to launch its own digital asset market in Britain. However, it was one of several crypto companies that withdrew applications to register with the Financial Conduct Authority due to failing to meet anti-money laundering requirements.

“Binance Markets Limited withdrew its 5MLD app on May 17, 2021 following intensive engagement from the FCA,” an FCA spokesperson told CNBC. “The action taken today at Binance Markets Limited has been going on for some time.”

The FCA spokesperson clarified that the scope of the ban was limited. Although Binance Markets Limited is prohibited from offering regulated services in Britain, unregistered companies can still interact with UK consumers. That means that Binance could still offer the British to trade cryptocurrencies through its website.

A Binance spokesperson told CNBC: “The FCA UK notice has no direct impact on the services provided on… Our relationship with our users has not changed.”

“We take a collaborative approach in working with regulators and we take our compliance obligations very seriously,” the spokesperson added. “We are actively keeping abreast of the changing policies, rules and laws in this new space.”

The FCA is not the only regulator cracking down on the crypto industry.

Japan’s Financial Services Agency warned last week that Binance was operating in the country without its permission.

Meanwhile, China has stepped up its efforts to crack down on crypto speculation, ordering digital currency miners to cease operations in various regions and urging banks and payment companies not to offer crypto-related services.

Increased regulatory scrutiny has weighed on the nascent crypto market. Bitcoin had a solid start to the year, climbing to an all-time high of nearly $ 65,000 in April. But it has since nearly halved, trading at $ 34,783 as of Monday morning.

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