Britain’s FCA Banned Binance from Operating in the Country

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) banned Binance, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, from operating in the country. 

The FCA’s decision is the latest sign of a growing crackdown on the cryptocurrency market around the world. Binance Markets Limited, the U.K. division of Binance, is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the United Kingdom, according to FCA. The scope of the ban is quite limited. Non-registered firms can still interact with consumers from the U.K. That means the cryptocurrency exchange could still offer local users cryptocurrency trading through its website. 

The main cryptocurrency exchange was about to launch its own cryptocurrency marketplace in the U.K. But it was one of several crypto-related firms that withdrew applications to register with the FCA due to not meeting anti-money laundering requirements. Binance Markets Limited withdrew its 5MLD application last month following intensive engagement from the financial regulator.

 Trading cryptocurrencies is not directly regulated in the country, but other related activities- such as selling derivatives- do require approval. The financial regulator ordered Binance Markets Limited to retain records related to U.K. customers.

 Binance and legal aspects

The Financial Conduct Authority is not the only regulator clamping down on the cryptocurrency industry. Japan’s Financial Services Agency warned last week that Binance was operating in Japan without its permission.

 Binance will no longer operate in Ontario, Canada as of December 31, 2021, after regulators there ramped up oversight of cryptocurrency markets. 

Meanwhile, China stepped up its efforts against cryptocurrencies. China ordered cryptocurrency miners to cease operations in a number of provinces. Less than two weeks ago, authorities in China’s Sichuan province, ordered cryptocurrency miners to shut down their operations. The province is one of the biggest bitcoin mining hubs in the country. 

Last week, the People’s Bank of China said it spoke to AliPay, the payments service run by Ant Group. The bank discussed crypto-related topics with several other main financial institutions as well. The country’s central bank urged them not to provide crypto-related services, including openings or clearing and settlement.

Increased regulatory scrutiny affected the cryptocurrency market. The price of bitcoin almost halved in value since April when it reached its highest level in history. Its price fell below $30,000 for the first time since late January on June 22. Bitcoin slightly rebounded over the weekend. 

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