Largest cryptocurrency exchange banned by UK regulator

By Laura Berrill
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance banned from operating in U.K. by markets regulator - latest indication of growing crackdown on world crypto market

Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said over the weekend that Binance Markets Limited, the U.K. division of Binance, “is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the U.K.”

Notification on website

This means from June 30, the company — which already offers Brits crypto trading through its website — must add a notification in a prominent place on its website and its app showing U.K. users the following text: ‘Binance Markets Ltd is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK. Due to the imposition of requirements by the FCA, Binance Markets Limited is not currently permitted to undertake any regulated activities without the prior written consent of the FCA. (No other entity in the Binance Group holds any form of UK authorisation, registration or license to conduct regulated activity in the UK.)

Binance is the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volumes and was set up to launch its own digital asset marketplace in the UK. The Binance Group is currently based in the Cayman Islands, while Binance Markets Limited is an affiliate firm based in London. The company also has multiple entities dotted around the globe, with Binance Group previously based in Malta. However, it was also one of several crypto firms that withdrew applications to register with the FCA due to not meeting anti-money laundering requirements.

A spokesperson for the FCA said the firm had withdrawn its 5MLD application on May 17th following intensive engagement from the FCA. The spokesperson added the scope of the ban was limited. This is because although Binance Markets Limited is banned from offering regulated services in the UK, non-registered firms can still interact with UK consumers. And this means Binance could still offer British people crypto trading through its website.

‘No direct impact on services’

A Binance spokesperson went on to say that the FCA UK notice had no direct impact on the services provided on Bianance.com and that its relationship with its users had not changed. They added the firm was actively keeping abreast of changing policies, rules and laws in this new space.

But it’s not just the FCA which is a regulator clamping  down on the crypto industry. Japan’s Financial Services Agency warned just last week that Binance was operating in the country without its permission. And China has also stepped up efforts to stamp out crypto speculation, ordering digital currency payment firms not to offer crypto-related services. Despite Bitcoin having a solid start to the year, at a high of almost $65,000 in April, since then it has almost halved in value, trading at $34,783 as of Monday morning.

 

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