Britain’s financial regulator has ordered Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, to stop all regulated activity and issued a warning to consumers about the platform, which is coming under growing scrutiny globally.
In a notice dated 25 June, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said Binance Markets Ltd, Binance’s UK entity, “must not, without the prior written consent of the FCA, carry out any regulated activities … with immediate effect”.
Binance did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday.
While trading of cryptocurrencies is not directly regulated in Britain, offering services such as trading in cryptocurrency derivatives does require authorisation.
The regulator did not explain why it had taken the measures against Binance, which has said previously that it takes its legal obligations “very seriously” and engages “with regulators and law enforcement in a collaborative fashion”.
The FCA is stepping up its oversight of cryptocurrency trading, which has soared in popularity in the UK alongside other countries.
Since January, the FCA has required all firms offering cryptocurrency-related services to register and show they comply with anti-money laundering rules. However, this month it said that just five firms had registered, and that the majority were not yet compliant.