Binance Deploys CipherTrace Tool for Travel Rule Compliance - CoinDesk

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CoinDesk 01 July, 2021 - 10:28am 8 views

Is Binance banned in UK?

U.K. authorities have banned the widely-used international cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, from operating in the country. In a recent statement, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) -- the U.K.'s financial regulator -- said: "Binance Markets Limited is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the U.K." NasdaqWhy Was Binance Banned in the U.K.?

The announcement comes as Binance faces regulatory challenges from financial watchdogs in several countries.

Binance said it is using crypto intelligence firm CipherTrace’s “Traveler” product to help it comply with global “travel rule” regulations.

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Thailand SEC files criminal complaint against Binance

The Block Crypto 02 July, 2021 - 08:00am

The SEC said Binance has operated a cryptocurrency exchange business in Thailand via its website without a license. Binance has also solicited the Thailand public to use its services via either its website or the Facebook page "Binance Thai Community," and thus is liable to criminal sanctions, according to the SEC.

The regulator said it sent Binance a warning letter on April 5 requiring the exchange to submit a written response, but it failed to reply within a specified time.

The SEC's announcement comes at a time when Binance and its affiliates are under scrutiny or have received warnings from global regulators, including the U.S., the U.K., Japan, the Cayman Islands, and Singapore. But Thailand's action appears to be one of the most significant actions to date against Binance since it is not just a warning but a criminal complaint directed at the exchange.

Thailand's SEC has filed a criminal complaint against Binance with the Economic Crime Suppression Division of the Royal Thai Police, it said. This means an investigation has begun, which may lead the official leading it to recommend the case to the public attorney who is able to prosecute such matters.

According to the SEC, Binance has violated Thailand's crypto laws defined under the Digital Asset Businesses Emergency Decree. Thus, the exchange operator could face sanctions such as imprisonment for a term of two to five years and a fine of 200,000 to 500,000 baht (around $6,000 to $15,500), and a further daily penalty not exceeding 10,000 baht ($310) for every day during which the contravention continues.

Cayman Islands regulator is investigating Binance's activities in the territory

The Block Crypto 02 July, 2021 - 08:00am

In an announcement published on Friday, the CIMA said it is informing the public that none of Binance, the Binance Group or Binance Holdings Limited is under its regulatory oversight to run a crypto exchange business from or within the British overseas territory.

"The Authority is currently investigating whether Binance, the Binance Group, Binance Holdings Limited or any other company affiliated with this group of companies has any activities operating in or from within the Cayman Islands which may fall within the scope of the Authority’s regulatory oversight," the CIMA said in the notice but did not make any accusation of potential wrongdoings.

"Binance.com has always operated in a decentralized manner. Binance.com does not run a cryptocurrency exchange out of the Cayman Islands, as reported incorrectly in some media articles previously," a Binance spokesperson responded in a statement.

"We do however, have entities incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands performing activities that are permitted by law and not related to operating crypto-exchange trading activities. We will work with regulators to address any questions they may have," the exchange added.

According to the Cayman Island business registration record, at least Binance Holdings Limited is incorporated as a business entity within the territory.

The CIMA added that any company incorporated in the territory, operating a crypto exchange business in or from within the Islands must fulfill at least one of the two criteria.

They must be registered or licensed in accordance with the Virtual Asset (Service Providers) Act, 2020 (“VASPA”) or be an existing regulated company that is already granted a waiver by the CIMA under the VASPA.

According to local reports, Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) must register with the CIMA by January 31 this year and the second phase of the enforcement of the law is expected to be effective in June which would include "licensing and prudential supervision."

The CIMA notice came a day after the Singapore Monetary Authority said it would review the license application again from Binance Asia Services Pte because its parent entity Binance Holdings Ltd came under regulatory scrutiny worldwide, according to a Bloomberg report.

Last week, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority issued a statement to bar Binance's UK entity from partaking in any "regulated" activities, although in practice the notice does not appear to have a direct impact on the services offered by binance.com that are being used by U.K. customers. But it was evidence of how little control regulators have over the crypto exchange giant.

Last month, Binance said it is exiting the Canadian province of Ontario amid a regulatory crackdown there and all Ontario-based users must close out all active positions by December 31, 2021.

The Japanese Financial Services Agency also issued another warning in June that Binance is still offering services to Japanese residents without having a proper license or having registered with the financial watchdog.

Binance said it "does not currently hold exchange operations in Japan, nor do we actively solicit Japanese users." But it declined to comment when asked if that means Binance by default allows Japanese users to visit and trade on its site. 

In May, it was reported that Binance was facing an investigation by the U.S. Internal Revenue Services and the Department of Justices. That was on top of the inquiry Binance was reportedly facing from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. But federal agencies did not accuse Binance of wrongdoing at the time.

Crypto exchange Binance hit by criminal complaint from Thai regulators

Reuters 02 July, 2021 - 06:05am

July 2 (Reuters) - Thailand's financial watchdog filed a criminal complaint against cryptocurrency exchange Binance on Friday for operating a digital asset business without a licence, the latest in a string of crackdowns on the platform by regulators globally.

Thailand's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said in a statement that Binance had been operating a digital asset business "in the category of a digital asset exchange" without a licence.

In Thailand, only licensed firms are allowed to provide services related to digital asset trading, the SEC said.

The Commission had warned Binance over its activities in a letter in April but received no response, it said, leading it to then file a criminal complaint with the Thai police.

A Binance spokesperson declined to comment specifically on the Thai complaint, saying it takes a collaborative approach to working with regulators and takes its compliance obligations seriously.

Britain's financial watchdog last week barred the company, one of the world's biggest exchanges, from carrying out regulated activities in the country. read more

Japan's regulator said last week Binance was operating in the country illegally, while Germany's watchdog said in April it risked being fined for offering tokens connected to stocks. read more

In May, Bloomberg reported Binance was under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service. read more

The complaint filed in Thailand by the SEC is the start of a criminal procedure, with a police investigation possibly leading to a recommendation to a public attorney who has authority for prosecution, the Commission said.

The offence carries a penalty of two to five years imprisonment, a fine of 200,000-500,000 baht ($6,200-15,500), and a further daily fine of up to 10,000 baht for every day the contravention continues, it added.

Trading volumes at the exchange in June were $662 billion, up almost ten-fold from July 2020, according to data from CryptoCompare. read more

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Binance Comes under Scrutiny in Singapore, Thailand & Cayman Islands Too

Cryptonews 02 July, 2021 - 02:41am

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The list of countries investigating the crypto exchange giant Binance is growing as regulators in Singapore, Thailand and the Cayman Islands have begun investigating the trading platform.

The past few weeks have seen the exchange come under fire from regulators in the UK, the USA, Japan, and Germany, while earlier this week, British users complained they were having issues using debit cards and fiat on/off ramps in conjunction with the Binance platform, that later confirmed that the problem was solved. Also, the company has stopped offering its services to Ontario-based users.

But the firm’s woes appear to have deepened now after authorities in Singapore indicated they were taking note of developments elsewhere and wanted to follow suit.

Bloomberg quoted the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the nation’s central bank and financial regulator, as stating:

“We are aware of the actions taken by other regulatory authorities against Binance and will follow up as appropriate.”

The MAS also confirmed that Binance Asia Services, a firm based in the country, is one of a group of exchanges that are operating as usual with its blessing during a grace period. The regulator will allow firms in this group to conduct business as usual while it looks into applications for operating permits.

Per a MAS document, Binance Asia Services has registered its interest in “providing digital payment token service,” along with exchange rivals like Gemini and Bitstamp.

Binance confirmed to the media outlet, however, that Binance Asia Services is “a separate legal entity and does not offer any products or services via the Binance.com website or Binance Markets.” Instead, the Singapore-based company, Binance stated, “focuses on growing the local blockchain ecosystem and servicing users” in Singapore.

“It is important to note that we take a collaborative approach in working with regulators and we take our compliance obligations very seriously. We are actively keeping abreast of changing policies, rules and laws in this new space.”

The MAS, meanwhile, claimed it was using “robust standards” in its reviewing process, and promised exchanges would be “subject to close scrutiny in the licensing process and ongoing supervision.”

Meanwhile, today, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand, said it has filed a criminal complaint against Binance with the Economic Crime Suppression Division of the Royal Thai Police for operating digital asset business without a license.

The SEC said that, in April, it issued a warning letter requiring the exchange to submit a written response "but Binance failed to submit a response within the specified time."

"In any case, filing the criminal complaint is merely the commencement of the criminal procedure whereby the inquiry official will perform an investigation before recommending the case to the public attorney who has authority for prosecution," the Commission added.

Also, in the Caymans, the regulatory Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) has issued Binance with a public warning. Apparently upset that a number of media outlets have stated that Binance is Caymans-based, the CIMA wrote:

“[We] wish to inform the public that Binance, the Binance Group and Binance Holdings Limited are not registered, licensed, regulated or otherwise authorized by the authority to operate a cryptocurrency exchange from or within the Cayman Islands.”

Crypto exchange operators must register with the CIMA under legislation that promulgated last year.

“[CIMA] is currently investigating whether Binance, the Binance Group, Binance Holdings Limited or any other company affiliated with this group of companies has any activities operating in or from within the Cayman Islands which may fall within the scope of [our] regulatory oversight,” the Authority said.

Regulators in the Caymans have come under pressure from economic powers to shed their “tax haven” status. The country was removed from the EU’s blacklist in October last year – and appears keen to ensure it does not make a swift return.

In the US, Binance is reportedly under investigation by the US Justice Department, Internal Revenue Service, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Officially, the federal agencies haven’t accused Binance of wrongdoing.

At 08:55 UTC, binance coin (BNB) is trading at USD 283 and is down by 1% in a day and 8% in a week.

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Thai SEC and Cayman Islands regulator take action on Binance

Cointelegraph 02 July, 2021 - 02:29am

Thai SEC and the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority are the latest regulators to join the global scrutiny against Binance.

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) are the latest financial regulators to announce a regulatory crackdown on Binance.

Thai SEC announced Friday that the agency had filed a criminal complaint against Binance, launching a criminal procedure and an investigation for allegedly operating a digital asset business without a license. The authority said that Binance had provided crypto trading services via its website by “matching orders or arranging for the counterparties or providing the system or facilitating entry into an agreement.”

“In so doing, Binance has solicited the Thai public and investors to use its services, either via its website or Facebook Page: Binance Thai Community,” the SEC noted. The regulator mentioned that it previously issued a warning letter to Binance in April, requiring the exchange to submit a written response, but the crypto exchange failed to submit a response within the specified time.

“Only providers who have obtained relevant licenses under the law are allowed to provide services related to digital asset trading, exchange, depository, transfer, withdrawal or any transactions related to digital assets. Violators may be liable to penalties under the law,” the agency noted.

The Thai SEC’s announcement comes just a day after the CIMA officially announced on Thursday that entities such as Binance, the Binance Group and Binance Holdings are “not registered, licensed, regulated or otherwise authorized” to operate a crypto exchange “from or within the Cayman Islands.” The regulator emphasized that none of the listed entities are subject to any of its regulatory oversight.

The CIMA noted that it will be also investigating any other company affiliated with Binance having any activities operating in or from the Cayman Islands.

The authority added that any crypto-related company incorporated under the Cayman Islands Companies Act 2020 or otherwise established in the Cayman Islands must either be registered by the country’s digital asset service providers act or any existing regulated entity that the authority has granted a waiver under the act.

A spokesperson for Binance told Cointelegraph that the crypto exchange has “always operated in a decentralized manner.” The representative has denied reports regarding Binance’s crypto operations in the Cayman Islands, adding:

Related: Binance tackles Travel Rule compliance after multiple bans

As a major global exchange, Binance has been struggling to find the right jurisdiction for operating its cryptocurrency business. Founded in China before the state enforced a ban on crypto trading in 2017, Binance moved overseas and was reportedly headquartered in the Cayman Islands and Seychelles as of February 2020.

Binance is known for having multiple entities around the world and was reportedly previously headquartered in Malta. Last February, the Malta Financial Services Authority claimed that it never approved Binance to operate in the country.

The latest news comes amid a renewed crackdown on Binance’s activity around the world, with governments such as the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada and the United States closely following the exchange’s operations recently. According to a Thursday Bloomberg report, the Singapore Monetary Authority plans to review Binance Asia Services’ license application amid its parent company coming under regulatory scrutiny worldwide.

Binance Not Authorized to Operate in the Cayman Islands, Says Regulator - CoinDesk

CoinDesk 02 July, 2021 - 02:13am

The Cayman Islands' financial watchdog said Binance has not registered to operate in the nation and that it was investigating the matter.

“Binance Group and Binance Holdings Limited are not registered, licensed, regulated or otherwise authorized by the Authority to operate a cryptocurrency exchange from or within the Cayman Islands,” the islands’ Monetary Authority said in a press statement Friday.

It’s the latest in a string of developments from regulators against the crypto business following reports Singapore’s financial regulator would “follow up” on developments from other watchdogs including in the U.K. and Japan.

The authority said Binance Holdings Ltd. and Binance Group were not subject to any regulatory oversight by itself and as such it was currently investigating whether any of Binance’s businesses fell within its jurisdiction.

Any company incorporated or entity registered under the Cayman Islands Companies Act of 2020 that provides virtual asset services must obtain a license in accordance with the Virtual Asset Service Providers Act (VASPA), the regulator said.

Binance resumes sterling withdrawals in UK

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Arguably the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, was recently in the news due to the warning issued against it by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

A few days ago, U.K Binance users reported the suspension of fiat withdrawals and deposits on the cryptocurrency exchange. Binance had reportedly addressed the interruption of withdrawals via Faster Payments, a popular UK-based inter-bank payments platform, as being “suspended for maintenance.”

The said development came three days after the UK FCA issued the above-mentioned warning to cease all its activities related to derivatives and securities in the country. This had created confusion and panic within the community.

A more recent development concerning this was that on June 30 as reported by Reuters, a Binance spokesperson said,

“…sterling withdrawals from the platform has been reactivated and users are able to buy digital coins with debit and credit cards.”

“The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) move would not impact services offered on its website, access to which by British residents was unaffected by the crackdown.”

Binance.co.uk even uploaded a public notice to reiterate the same.

Source: Binance UK

This falls in line with a direct reply to a notice served by the UK watchdogs in June last year, which stated: “Binance must cease marketing any reference to EddieUK/Binance/BinanceUK being an FCA regulated platform for buying and trading cryptocurrencies”.

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Shubham is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. A Master's graduate in Accounting and Finance, Shubham's writings mainly focus on crypto-regulations across the United States and Europe. Also, a die-hard Chelsea fan #KTBFFH.

Disclaimer: AMBCrypto's content is meant to be informational in nature and should not be interpreted as investment advice. Trading, buying or selling cryptocurrencies should be considered a high-risk investment and every reader is advised to do their own research before making any decisions.

Binance resumes fiat withdrawals via Faster Payments in UK

Cointelegraph 01 July, 2021 - 01:33am

Binance has uploaded a notice to its U.K. website stating that Binance Markets Limited is not licensed to undertake regulated activities in the United Kingdom.

On June 28, Binance uploaded a notice revealing that withdrawals via Faster Payments, a popular United Kingdom-based inter-bank payments platform, had been suspended for maintenance.

The news came the same week the U.K.’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), ordered Binance Markets Limited and the Binance Group to cease all regulated activities relating to derivatives and securities in the country. This led many to infer the sudden and seemingly opaque suspension of Faster Payments could signal further troubles ahead for the exchange.

According to a June 30 report from Reuters citing a Binance spokesperson, withdrawals via Faster Payments were reinstated on June 29 alongside bank card purchases for U.K. users.

The spokesperson also said that the FCA’s apparent crackdown does not impact the ability of British residents to access the services on its website.

A notice posted to the FCA’s website from last year stated that Binance Markets Limited should not “promote or accept any new applications for lending by retail customers through the operation of its electronic lending system,” or promote Binance, BinanceUK, or EddieUK as being FCA-regulated platforms for cryptocurrency trading.

Binance.co.uk uploaded a notice stating that Binance Markets Limited was not permitted to undertake regulated activities in the United Kingdom, in compliance with the FCA’s demands:

In June 2020, Binance announced it had acquired an “FCA-regulated entity,” noting that Binance.UK would be operated by Binance Markets Limited moving forward.

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