The UK financial regulator blacklisted cryptocurrency exchange Binance because it did not comply with the rules for checking customers for money laundering.
The Financial Conduct Authority last weekend ordered Binance to cease its activities in the United Kingdom, as far as they are supervised. It is one of the most severe sanctions imposed by the watchdog to date in the fast-growing cryptocurrency industry.
Binance Markets Limited, the British division of the cryptocurrency exchange, must cease all its advertising activities by Wednesday evening. The company must also warn on its website that it may not engage in supervised activities.
It is a heavy blow for Binance, which claims to facilitate more than 1.4 million transactions per second.
The company was founded four years ago by Chinese-Canadian software developer Changpeng Zhao, nicknamed CZ, who, according to Forbes, is now worth $ 1.9 billion thanks to the crypto market. The holding is registered in the Cayman Islands.
Last week, the Japanese regulator warned that Binance is operating there without a market licence. The Indian authorities have also started an investigation into the company, while the US and German regulators are also supposed to exert pressure.
Binance is said to have withdrawn its licence application on 17 May following intensive consultations with the FCA, according to the British business newspaper.
A week ago, The Times showed that you can open a Binance account under a fake name, address and zip code and buy cryptocurrencies with different bank details. Authorities were so shocked by the number of customers losing money to fraudsters with Binance accounts that they plan to ban the use of cryptocurrencies any more.