While issuing a warning to consumers of digital currencies in Britain about Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, the rinanicla regulator of the country has ordered the platform not to conduct any regulated activity.
The cryptocurrency exchanges are under scrutiny globally.
Binance Markets Ltd, Binance’s only regulated entity in the United Kingdom, “must not, without the prior written consent of the FCA, carry out any regulated activities… with immediate effect”, said the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in a recently sent notice to the company.
A warning about Binance Markets and the wider Binance group was also sent by it to customers.
Regulatory permissions available with it were not yet being used by Binance Markets, which it acquired in 2020, and the services it offered on its Binance.com website would not be affected by the order from the FCA, Binance said in a statement.
“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,” a spokesperson for the company said.
The news of it buying an FCA-regulated entity was announced by Binance in June last year and had said at that time that the entity would be used for offering its cryptocurrency trading services using pounds and euros.
Even though cryptocurrency trading is not directly regulate din the UK, but opffering to give services such as trading in cryptocurrency derivatives need regulatory permission.
Binance needs to display a notice stating “BINANCE MARKETS LIMITED IS NOT PERMITTED TO UNDERTAKE ANY REGULATED ACTIVITY IN THE UK” by June 30 on its website and social media channels, the FCA has told Binance in the notice. Additionally, Binance has also been asked to secure and preserve all records related to its consumers in the UK and confirm the FCA about having taken stakes by July 2.
No explanation of the reasons behind taking this step was offered by the British regulator. Binance’s services in other jurisdictions will still be available for British citizens.
Oversight of cryptocurrency trading is being beefed up by the FCA as this has gained popularity kin the UK as it has in many other countries throughout the world.
In a previous step, the FCA made it mandatory, starting in September last year, for any firm offering cryptocurrency related services to get itself registered with the regulator and show evidence of them being compliant with the anti-money laundering rules. The FCA however said early this month that only five such companies had got registered and majority of the firms were not yet compliant.
The operations of Binance were declared as illegal in Japan by the country’s regulator on June 25 in a notice posted on Japan’s Financial Services Agency website.
Information about the Binance’s business was being sought by officials from the United States Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service who probe money laundering and tax offences from people with such knowledge, claimed a report published last month by Bloomberg.
(Adapted from USNews.com)