Regulators Crack Down on Crypto Exchange Binance in UK, Japan, Germany, and Ontario, Canada

The Wall Street Journal reports: Authorities in the U.K. and Japan took aim at affiliates of Binance Holdings Ltd., the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange network, in the latest regulatory crackdown on the wildly popular trade in bitcoin and other digital assets. The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, the country’s lead financial regulator, told consumers Saturday that Binance’s local unit wasn’t permitted to conduct operations related to regulated financial activities…

Binance Markets Ltd., the company’s U.K. arm, applied to be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority and withdrew its application on May 17. “A significantly high number of cryptoasset businesses are not meeting the required standards” under money-laundering regulations, said a spokesperson for the FCA in an email. “Of the firms we’ve assessed to date, over 90% have withdrawn applications following our intervention.”

Japan’s financial watchdog issued a statement on June 25, saying that Binance isn’t registered to do business in the country…

As of April, Binance operated the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by trading volume, allowing tens of billions of dollars of trades to pass through its networks, according to data provider CryptoCompare. It was founded in 2017 and initially based in China, later moving offices to Japan and Malta. It recently said it is a decentralized organization with no headquarters… 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 Financial Times called the move “one of the most significant moves any global regulator has made against Binance” and “a sign of how regulators are cracking down on the cryptocurrency industry over concerns relating to its potential role in illicit activities such as money laundering and fraud, and over often weak consumer protection.” But more countries are also taking action, Reuters reports: 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. In April, Germany’s financial regulator BaFin warned the exchange risked being fined for offering digital tokens without an investor prospectus.
And CoinDesk adds: Binance is no longer open for business in Canada’s most populous province, apparently choosing to close shop rather than meet the fate of other cryptocurrency exchanges that have had actions filed against them for allegedly failing to comply with Ontario securities laws.

Source: Regulators Crack Down on Crypto Exchange Binance in UK, Japan, Germany, and Ontario, Canada – Slashdot

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