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UK suspends one of the world's largest cryptocurrency platforms

Monday, June 28th 2021 - 09:07 UTC
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Cryptocurrency operations are feared to be an easy way to launder money Cryptocurrency operations are feared to be an easy way to launder money

The United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a note dated June 25 announcing the suspension of Binance Markets Ltd and warned customers the platform was falling under tighter scrutiny worldwide.

Effective immediately, Binance's only regulated entity in the UK, “must not, without the prior written consent of the FCA, conduct any regulated activity.”

However, the FCA failed to detail the reasons behind their decision, although Binance said in a statement that Binance Markets, which it acquired in 2020, was not yet using its regulatory permissions and that the FCA move would not affect the services offered on its website.

“We take a collaborative approach in working with regulators and we take our compliance obligations very seriously. We stay abreast of the changing policies, rules and laws in this new space,” said a spokesperson.

Binance announced in June last year that it had bought an FCA regulated entity and would use it to offer cryptocurrency trading services using pounds and euros.

While cryptocurrency trading is not directly regulated in Britain, offering services such as cryptocurrency derivatives trading requires authorization.

The FCA ordered Binance to display a notice no later than June 30 stating that “BINANCE MARKETS LIMITED is not authorized to conduct any regulated activity in the UK” on its website and social media and to submit proof of compliance no later than July 2.

British customers will still be able to access Binance services in other jurisdictions as the FCA is stepping up its oversight of cryptocurrency trading, which has exploded in popularity worldwide.

Since January, the FCA has required all companies offering cryptocurrency-related services to register and demonstrate compliance with anti-money laundering regulations.

Binance was also instructed to “preserve all records and / or information (…) relating to all clients of the country from their systems” and end any type of advertising and financial promotions.

“Binance Markets Limited is not allowed to engage in any regulated activity in the UK,” the FCA said in a statement, adding that “no other Binance Group entity is authorized, registered or licensed to carry out regulated activities” in the UK.

Binance Markets Ltd had asked to be registered in the United Kingdom, but according to the Financial Times, it recently withdrew its application, which was confirmed by the FCA.

Last month Binance posted crypto trading volumes equivalent to $ 1.5 trillion and has 13.5 million users, according to data from TheBlockCrypto.

In May, Japan's Financial Services Agency warned that Binance was conducting unauthorized cryptocurrency trading with Japanese citizens, adding to another series of investigations to the same effect in the United States.

Meanwhile, the crypto market consolidates its strong setback since mid-May when, after reaching a total market capitalization of US $ 2.5 trillion, it fell 50% in a few weeks to reach US $ 1.25 million, according to data from the Traidingview portal.

Almost half of the crypto market is concentrated in Bitcoin, which, as of noon Sunday, was trading close to US $ 33,000 per unit and amounting to about US $ 619,000 million in its total capitalization, according to Coinmarketcap.

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

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