UK financial watchdog bans Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, as crypto crackdown intensifies around the world
Just last month, we reported that Binance was under investigation by DOJ and IRS for money laundering and tax offenses. Now, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange is facing another trouble from the U.K. markets regulator.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that it has banned Binance from operating in the U.K. in the latest sign of a growing crackdown on the crypto market around the world. In a notice dated Friday, FCA said Binance could not conduct any regulated activity in Britain and warned consumers about the platform, which is coming under growing scrutiny globally.
The FCA also issued a consumer warning about Binance.com, advising people to be wary of adverts promising high returns on crypto-asset investments. In an announcement on Saturday, FCA said that Binance Markets Limited, the U.K. division of Binance, “is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the U.K.”
Effective June 30, FCA said that Binance must add a notice in a prominent place in its website and apps showing U.K. users the following text:
“BINANCE MARKETS LIMITED IS NOT PERMITTED TO UNDERTAKE ANY REGULATED ACTIVITY IN THE U.K. 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 U.K. authorisation, registration or license to conduct regulated activity in the U.K.).”
In response to the ban, Binance said in a statement that Binance Markets, which the company acquired in 2020, was not yet using its regulatory permissions, and that the FCA’s move would not impact services offered on its Binance.com website.
“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 said.
The FCA is a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, but operates independently of the UK Government, and is financed by charging fees to members of the financial services industry.
Founded by Changpeng Zhao and Yi He, Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange platform that combines digital technology and finance. The company provides access to exchange digital currency pairs on the market while maintaining security, liquidity, enabling a safe and efficient deal with anyone, anytime and anywhere.
Before founding Binance, CEO Changpeng Zhao previously founded Fusion Systems in 2005 in Shanghai; the company that built high-frequency trading systems for brokers. In 2013 he joined Blockchain.info as the third member of the cryptocurrency wallet’s team. He also worked at OKCoin as CTO for less than a year, a platform for spot trading between fiat and digital assets.