Amid a growing crackdown on cryptocurrencies and their decentralised exchanges across the world, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority has banned Binance Market Limits, the UK division of the world’s largest crypto-exchange Binance, from undertaking regulated activities in the UK.
“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,” the regulator said.
“The Binance Group appear to be offering UK customers a range of products and services via a website, Binance.com,” it added.
Binance, in a tweet, said the ban appeared to impact only Binance Markets Limited (BML), which is said was a separate legal entity that did not offer any products or services via the Binance.com website.
Binance, which is based in the Cayman Islands, reportedly handled $3.88 billion in average daily trading volumes in 2020, a 36 per cent jump from the previous year. It was founded by Chinese-Canadaian developer Changpeng Zhao in China—but was forced out of the country after regulators moved against it in 2017.
The move comes after the exchange was forced to pull out of Ontario, Canada after the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) accused it of failing to comply with local regulations. It comes a day after Japan’s own financial services regulator issued a warning against it doing business in the country. China, which was home to much of the world’s crypto-mining infrastructure, recently moved against miners—prompting a global sell-off of crypto assets and the 2021 cryptocurrency crash.
Binance also owns India's leading cryptocurrency exchange, WazirX, which it acquired in 2019.