Britain’s financial regulator has banned Binance, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, from offering certain services in the country.
The Financial Conduct Authority said in a statement on Saturday that Binance Markets Limited “is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK.”
“No other entity in the Binance Group holds any form of UK authorisation, registration or licence to conduct regulated activity in the UK,” the regulator added.
Trading cryptocurrencies is not directly regulated in the United Kingdom, but other related activities — such as selling derivatives — do require approval. The move against Binance is the latest in a series of crackdowns by regulators around the world that have rattled crypto investors and caused prices to decline.
The Financial Conduct Authority ordered Binance Markets Limited to retain records related to UK customers. The company has until Wednesday to display a notice on its website that reads: “Binance Markets Limited is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK.”
The statement from the regulator also included a warning about the volatility of the crypto markets. “Be wary of adverts online and on social media promising high returns on investments in cryptoasset or cryptoasset-related products,” it said.
The price of bitcoin has tumbled in recent months after hitting a record high near $65,000 in April. The volatile digital currency appeared unmoved by the growing regulatory pressure on Binance — it gained more than 5% over the past 24 hours to trade at $34,800 on Monday.
“We are aware of recent reports about an FCA UK notice in relation to Binance Markets Limited,” a Binance spokesperson said.
“[Binance Markets Limited] is a separate legal entity and does not offer any products or services via the Binance.com website. The FCA UK notice has no direct impact on the services provided on Binance.com. Our relationship with our users has not changed,” the spokesperson added.
The UK ban follows news that Japanese regulators sent warnings to Binance on Friday. The regulators said the platform may be operating in the country without proper authorization.
Binance will no longer service customers in Ontario, Canada, as of December 31 after regulators there ramped up oversight of crypto markets.
China has also cracked down on the crypto sector in recent months. The country has curbed mining activity and told major payment platforms and lenders that cryptocurrency trading won’t be tolerated.
Crypto prices have tumbled of late as a result of the increased regulatory attention. On Tuesday, Bitcoin fell below $30,000 for the first time since late January before rebounding slightly over the weekend. And shares in cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase fell, nearly reaching an all-time low just two months after the platform went public.
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