UK watchdog bans cryptocurrency exchange Binance (updated)

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Engadget 27 June, 2021 - 01:56pm 64 views

Is Binance banned in UK?

The FCA move doesn't ban customers from using Binance completely; U.K. customers can continue to use Binance's non-U.K. operations for activities the FCA doesn't directly regulate, such as buying and selling direct holdings in bitcoin. The Wall Street JournalBinance Crypto Exchange Ordered to Cease U.K. Activities

UK regulator bans crypto exchange Binance from operating in the country

The Block Crypto 27 June, 2021 - 03:06pm

The FCA announced Saturday that Binance Markets Limited and the Binance Group do not hold any form of authorization to conduct regulated activities in the U.K., but still offer citizens a range of services online.

In the U.K., crypto-assets themselves, such as bitcoin and ether, are unregulated but certain trading products related to them, such as futures and options trading, are regulated.

Binance has been asked to stop undertaking any regulated activity in the U.K. by June 30. The FCA has also ordered Binance to display a notice on its website and social media that it is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the country.

"The Firm will remove, or where this is not practicable, give instructions for the removal of any advertising and financial promotions it currently has live, in whatever form they take by close of business on 30 June 2021," said the FCA.

Binance must also preserve all records relating to all its U.K. consumers and notify the FCA in writing by July 2, according to the watchdog.

In 2020, the U.K. established a registration regime for crypto exchanges, announcing that they must get approval in order to provide any crypto services in the country. But the deadline for exchanges to be registered has been pushed back multiple times since just a handful of companies have managed to get registered.

The FCA is known to drill crypto firms before offering registration. To date, the watchdog has only approved five crypto entities: Two Gemini entities, Archax, Ziglu, Digivault, the custody business of Diginex, and Mode Global Holdings.

Binance announced the U.K. entity, Binance Markets Limited, in June 2020 after acquiring an FCA-registered firm called EddieUK. Later, Binance itself reportedly applied to become a registered crypto company with the FCA but pulled that application last month “following intensive engagement" from the watchdog.

The current deadline for existing crypto exchanges to get FCA approval in the U.K. is March 31, 2022.

According to the FCA, firms must either get approval by then or have a pending application to still offer such crypto services. Since Binance pulled its application, that means the exchange can no longer provide services that were previously unregistered either, such as spot trading.

The news comes at a time when Binance is said to be under scrutiny by regulators in the U.S. and Europe and has received another warning from Japan over its unregistered operations.

Binance did not immediately respond to The Block's request for comment but has previously said, "we take a collaborative approach in working with regulators, and we take our compliance obligations very seriously."

Binance is the largest crypto exchange in the world by trading volumes. It recorded over $1.5 trillion worth of trading volumes last month, according to The Block's Data Dashboard.

Update: This article has been updated to provide clarity on which services the regulator has banned and which services the exchange is unable to do because it has pulled its application to the crypto-asset register.

Britain bans Binance in latest cryptocurrency crackdown

Yahoo Finance 27 June, 2021 - 03:06pm

June 27 (Reuters) - Britain's financial regulator has ordered Binance, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, to stop all regulated activity and issued a warning to consumers about the platform which is coming under growing scrutiny globally.

In a notice dated June 25, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said Binance Markets Ltd, Binance's UK entity, "must not, without the prior written consent of the FCA, carry out any regulated activities...with immediate effect".

Binance did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

While trading of cryptocurrencies is not directly regulated in Britain, offering services such as trading in cryptocurrency derivatives does require authorisation.

The FCA has told Binance that by June 30 it must display a notice stating "BINANCE MARKETS LIMITED IS NOT PERMITTED TO UNDERTAKE ANY REGULATED ACTIVITY IN THE UK" on its website and social media channels.

It must also secure and preserve all records relating to UK consumers and inform the FCA this has been done by July 2.

The regulator did not explain why it taken the measures against Binance, which has said previously that it takes its legal obligations "very seriously" and engages "with regulators and law enforcement in a collaborative fashion".

The FCA is stepping up its oversight of cryptocurrency trading, which has soared in popularity in the Britain along with other countries around the globe.

Since January, the FCA has required all firms offering cryptocurrency-related services to register and show they comply with anti-money laundering rules. However earlier this month it said that just five firms had registered, and that the majority were not yet compliant. read more

Japan's regulator said on June 25 that Binance was operating in the country illegally, a notice posted on Japan's Financial Services Agency website showed.

Last month, Bloomberg reported that officials from the U.S. Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service who probe money laundering and tax offences had sought information from individuals with insight into Binance's business. read more

In April, Germany's financial regulator BaFin warned the exchange risked being fined for offering digital tokens without an investor prospectus. read more

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Britain's mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign has weakened the link between infections and deaths but it has not yet been completely broken, the head of a scientific advisory body to the government said on Sunday.

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Binance Pulls Out of Ontario Following Actions Against Other Crypto Exchanges - CoinDesk

CoinDesk 27 June, 2021 - 10:49am

"Binance can no longer continue to service Ontario-based users," the exchange said Friday.

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