As Bitcoin and crypto-currencies progress in their adoption, regulators are supervising the industry more and more fiercely. Today, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is cracking down in the UK. It is restricting a large part of the activities of the group behind the Binance platform.
The FCA goes after crypto derivatives
Bad times for the Binance Group (including the eponymous crypto exchange) and especially its subsidiary Binance Markets. In a publication released this June 26, the UK’s financial markets watchdog – the Financial Conduct Authority – effectively announced that it was formally banning the group from continuing to conduct any regulated activity.
“While we do not regulate crypto-assets such as bitcoin (BTC) or ether (ETH), we do regulate certain derivatives of crypto-assets – such as futures, contracts for difference (CFDs) and options – as well as crypto-assets that we consider to be securities (…) A company must be licensed by us to advertise or sell these products in the UK (…)”
The Binance subsidiary has until this Wednesday, June 30, to stop all advertising for the cryptocurrency derivatives it offers.
Classic crypto exchanges continue as usual
As Binance was quick to point out in a counter-announcement, buying/selling and trading of crypto currencies at the market price (spot) are in no way affected by this FCA ban.
“BML is a separate legal entity, and does not offer any products or services through Binance.com (…) We take a collaborative approach in our work with regulators and take our compliance obligations very seriously. We actively keep abreast of policy, rule and legislative developments in this young industry. “
Indeed, the FCA seems to be particularly targeting derivatives that allow for the very dangerous leverage effects, which increase the risk of total loss of capital, as much as they can multiply gains.
Even if Binance has become an important platform thanks to the classic (spot) trading of crypto-currencies, if this kind of ban were to spread to other countries, it would be a serious setback that would drastically limit its product offering. It must be said that regulators are very upset about the growing success of crypto-currencies, and even “crypto-nations”, such as Malta, are caught in the regulatory turmoil.