Crypto exchange Binance has announced that it is winding down its futures and derivatives products offerings across the European region.
The shutdown will kick off in Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, with users in those countries now unable to open new futures or derivatives products accounts. From an as-yet-unannounced future date, active traders will have 90 days to close their open positions.
Binance and regulators
Binance has found itself at the center of a regulatory spotlight in recent months, with the UK's Financial Conduct Authority issuing a consumer warning that the exchange is "not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK". Italy's securities regulator, Consob, issued a similar warning, announcing that Binance is "not authorized to provide investment services and activities in Italy."
At issue, said the FCA, is Binance's anti-money laundering standards, with the UK regulator adding that it has a "huge issue" with the exchange's apparent lack of a headquarters.
The exchange has also found many payment channels closed off, with UK banks including Natwest, Barclays and Santander blocking account holders from depositing money on the exchange, while SEPA Euro bank deposits have been suspended. European payment processor Clear Junction has stopped processing transactions for the exchange, and the Faster Payments service has also been disrupted.
Binance has responded by ramping up its compliance measures, including tightening limits on anonymous withdrawals, adding a tax reporting tool and hiring eToro's former director of compliance to head up its own team. Binance CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao as also called for "clear regulations" while stating that "compliance is a journey."
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