Financial watchdog bans crypto exchange Binance from UK

FCA also issues consumer alert against sprawling cryptocurrency group.

The UK’s financial watchdog has ordered Binance to stop all regulated activities in Britain and imposed stringent requirements in a stinging rebuke of one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges.

The intervention by the Financial Conduct Authority in recent days is one of the most significant moves any global regulator has made against Binance, a sprawling digital asset firm with subsidiaries around the world.

The exchange has until Wednesday evening to confirm it has complied with the watchdog’s demands.

The intervention is a sign of how regulators are cracking down on the cryptocurrency industry over concerns relating to its potential role in illicit activities such as money laundering and fraud, and over often weak consumer protection.

The FCA also this weekend issued a consumer warning against both the Cayman Islands-registered Binance holdings company and Binance Markets Limited, a London-based affiliate that is controlled by chief executive Changpeng Zhao and is overseen by the UK regulator. “Binance Markets Limited is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK,” the FCA said, adding, “no other entity in the Binance Group holds any form of UK authorisation, registration or licence to conduct regulated activity in the UK”.

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