Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, has been banned by the UK’s financial regulator. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has ruled that the firm cannot conduct any “regulated activity” in the UK.
It also issued a consumer warning about Binance.com, advising people to be wary of adverts promising high returns on crypto-asset investments. This comes amid pushback from regulators around the world against crypto-currency platforms.
Binance.com is an online centralised exchange that offers users a range of financial products and services, including purchasing and trading a wide range of digital currencies, as well as digital wallets, futures, securities, savings accounts and even lending.
This is not the first time that Binance has come under scrutiny by regulators over its global operations. In the US, one of the firm’s entities – Binance Holdings – has been the subject of a probe by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), specifically by its officials dealing with money laundering and tax offences, according to Bloomberg.
Binance Group is currently based in the Cayman Islands, while Binance Markets Limited is an affiliate firm based in London. The firm has multiple entities dotted around the world and Binance Group was previously based in Malta.
The FCA said that Binance Markets Limited (BML), which is owned by Binance Group, is not currently permitted to undertake any regulated activities without the prior written consent of the FCA. It has until Wednesday to comply with the ruling.
The regulator also stressed that no entity in the Binance Group holds any form of authorisation, registration or licence to conduct a regulated activity in the UK.