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Binance’s Regulatory Hurdles: A Quick Recap

Binance’s Regulatory Hurdles: A Quick Recap

Binance has been facing a tough time in recent weeks, with a slew of regulatory issues in several countries. The list of countries that are investigating the cryptocurrency exchange has grown significantly, with the U.K., Singapore, and Thailand all investigating the trading platform. 

Binance To Stop Operations In Ontario  

Binance has decided to stop its operations in the province of Ontario entirely. The largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume chose to shut operations in the business rather than meet the same fate that befell other crypto exchanges in the province. 

Over the past few weeks, the Ontario Securities Commission has upped the ante on exchanges, with the exchanges having actions filed against them for allegedly not complying with security laws in the province. 

The withdrawal comes after the Ontario Securities Commission filed a slew of allegations against Bybit for failing to comply with regulations. The commission has also filed allegations against other exchanges such as KuCoin and Poloniex. 

FCA Clamps Down On Binance 

The U.K.’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, has also ruled against Binance, stating that the cryptocurrency exchange cannot conduct “regulated activities” in the U.K. This is the first step in blocking the exchange from operating in the country. 

Binance can still continue to serve its U.K.-based customers. However, it has to notify them now that the exchange is not authorized to operate in the U.K. Binance had withdrawn its application for registering as a licensed crypto firm in May due to non-compliance with anti-money laundering regulations. 

Barclays Halts Payments To Binance  

Barclays bank has also announced to its U.K. customers that had made payments to Binance that it has blocked payments to the exchange. Barclays communicated to their customers that the block was done to “help keep your money safe.” 

Barclays stated that while this does not hinder customers from withdrawing their funds from Binance, it has been taken in light of the recent FCA ruling against Binance. Binance responded by terming the decision as “disappointing” and stated that the action is based on an incomplete and inaccurate understanding of events. 

Under Increasing Scrutiny 

Binance has also come under significant scrutiny in Singapore, Thailand, and Japan. Authorities in Singapore have indicated that they have taken note of the developments against Binance and were preparing action of their own. The Monetary Authority of Singapore was quoted saying, 

“We are aware of the actions taken by other regulatory authorities against Binance and will follow up as appropriate.”

For the moment, Binance is operating as usual while the regulator investigates and looks into applications and operating permits. The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand has also filed a criminal complaint against Binance for operating a digital assets business without a proper license. This action was initiated after Binance failed to submit a response to a warning letter sent out in April. 

Japan Warns Binance 

To pile more misery on Binance, Japan also warned the exchange that it is operating in the country without the requisite permissions. This is the Financial Services Agency’s second warning to Binance after a warning was issued in March 2018 for the same reason. 

Binance commented on the matter, stating, 

“Binance does not currently hold exchange operations in Japan, nor do we actively solicit Japanese users. As you can understand, we do not comment, as a matter of policy, on specific matters related to any regulators.” 

Banco Santander Joins Barclays In Blocking Binance Payments 

Spanish banking giant Banco Santander has announced that it has blocked payments to Binance for its U.K. customers. Banco Santander joins several other U.K. banks in blacklisting Binance after the FCA announced that Binance could not carry out any “regulated activities” in the U.K. 

Banco Santander put out a statement that stated, 

“In recent months, we have seen a large increase in U.K. customers becoming the victims of cryptocurrency fraud. Keeping our customers safe is a top priority, so we have decided to prevent payments to Binance following the FCA’s warning to consumers.”

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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