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UK bans world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance

UK bans world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance
Britain’s financial watchdog has ordered one of the world’s largest crypto-exchange networks, Binance, to shut down all regulated activities in the UK. The ban comes amid growing scrutiny of digital assets across the world.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also issued a warning to consumers about Binance Markets Limited, the network’s only regulated UK entity, as well as the wider Binance group.

“A significantly high number of crypto-asset businesses are not meeting the required standards” under money-laundering regulations, the FCA said in an email cited by MarketWatch. 

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Of the firms we’ve assessed to date, over 90% have withdrawn applications following our intervention,” the regulator added.

The watchdog has obliged the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume to display a notice saying that it is not “permitted to undertake any regulated activities without the prior written consent of the FCA” in a prominent place on its website and apps.

Binance was planning to launch its own digital asset marketplace in the UK, but it was one of several crypto companies that withdrew applications to register with the FCA due to not meeting anti-money laundering regulations.

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The scope of the ban is reportedly limited, as non-registered firms can still interact with UK consumers. Binance Markets Limited is still able to provide its British customers with crypto-trading opportunities through its website despite being banned from offering regulated services in the country.

“We take a collaborative approach in working with regulators and we take our compliance obligations very seriously,” a Binance spokesperson told CNBC, adding that the notice has no direct impact on the services provided on Binance.com.

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“We are actively keeping abreast of changing policies, rules and laws in this new space,” the spokesperson added.

On June 25, Japan’s financial watchdog issued a statement saying that Binance isn’t registered to do business in the country, while Chinese authorities have been mounting a nationwide campaign to pin down crypto-related activities. In China, digital currency miners were ordered to cease operations in a number of regions, while banks and payment firms were told not to offer crypto-related services.

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