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UK financial watchdog bans crypto exchange Binance


By Alexis Benveniste, CNN Business

The Financial Conduct Authority, a regulatory body in the United Kingdom, has banned Binance, a popular cryptocurrency exchange platform, from offering certain services in the country.

“Binance Markets Limited is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK,” the FCA said in a statement Saturday. Binance — one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world — enables investors to buy and trade cryptocurrencies online. “No other entity in the Binance Group holds any form of UK authorisation, registration or licence to conduct regulated activity in the UK,” the statement continued.

Trading cryptocurrencies is not directly regulated in the UK, but other related activities — such as selling derivatives — do require approval.

The statement also included a warning about the volatility of the crypto markets. “Be wary of adverts online and on social media promising high returns on investments in cryptoasset or cryptoasset-related products,” the FCA said.

The UK ban follows news of Japanese regulators sending warnings to Binance Friday. The regulators in Japan said the platform may be operating in the country without proper authorization. Binance will also no longer service customers in Ontario, Canada as of December 31 after regulators there ramped up oversight of crypto markets.

Binance did not respond to CNN Business’ request for comment.

China has also cracked down on the crypto sector in recent months. The country has curbed mining activity and told major payment platforms and lenders that cryptocurrency trading won’t be tolerated.

Crypto prices have tumbled of late as a result of the increased regulatory attention. On Tuesday, Bitcoin fell below $30,000 for the first time since late January before rebounding slightly over the weekend. And shares fell for cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, nearly reaching an all-time low just two months after the platform went public.

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