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UK regulator bans crypto exchange Binance from UK

FCA issued a warning to Brits using the crypto exchange

Binance, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, has been told to halt its activities by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

In addition to ruling that Binance cannot conduct any “regulated activity” in the UK, it sent out a warning about the exchange, suggesting people beware of its adverts making claims about the performance of investments on the platform.

Binance has been given until Wednesday evening to comply with the FCA ruling.

It comes as regulators across the world are coming down on crypto exchanges, often citing its use for illicit activities.

At present, Binance Group is based in the Cayman Islands, whereas Binance Markets Limited is an affiliate company based in London. The company has a range of other entities spread all over the world.

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“Binance Markets Limited is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK. This firm is part of a wider Group (Binance Group). 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,” read a statement by the FCA.

“No other entity in the Binance Group holds any form of UK authorisation, registration or licence to conduct regulated activity in the UK,” it continued.

The FCA does not regulate cryptocurrencies, however it does regulate cryptoassets. Companies must have authorisation from the regulator in order to sell or advertise such products in Britain.

This means that UK customers are not allowed to use Binance’s offering to bet on whether the price of a cryptocurrency goes up or down.

They are, however, still allowed to use the website to buy and sell crypto.

In January 2020 the FCA became the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing supervisor of UK cryptoasset businesses, under the Money Laundering Regulations (MLRs).

Crypto firms wishing to continue their operations in the UK were required to register with the FCA in order to adhere to the MLRs.

However, the regulator failed to assess and register all the companies that had applied in time for the initial deadline.

This meant many firms faced the prospect of being legally required to halt their business activity in the UK. 

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