However, due to the lack of regulation of cryptocurrencies and transactions with cyber currencies to date, the international trading platform is increasingly coming under the scrutiny of authorities.
More and more countries are joining the list of those taking on one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, Binance. After Germany, Japan, Great Britain, the USA and Canada already targeted the trading platform for digital currencies, Thailand and the Cayman Islands recently followed suit and set their regulatory authorities on the platform.
Yet, Binance is a big fish when it comes to cryptocurrencies. As can be read on the company’s website, the online trading platform has an average daily volume of 2 billion US dollars and more than 1.4 million transactions per second. At the same time, the crypto company boasts that it has created its very own ecosystem, whose own cryptocurrency Binance Coin is only surpassed by Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tether in terms of market capitalisation. Users of the exchange can access a wide range of different services, including the purchase and trading of digital assets and derivatives and tokenised shares, to name just a few examples.
It is not yet known where exactly the crypto company is based. Binance leader Changpeng Zhao has also always kept a low profile on this topic, even though Binance Holding is apparently based in the Cayman Islands, according to Reuters.
In the last few months, reports have accumulated around the crypto exchange that various regulatory authorities around the world are prohibiting Binance from offering various services in their countries. The background to this is that trading in cryptocurrencies is not yet regulated in many places, and concerns about money laundering and terrorist financing are leading to a rejection of cyber currencies. Also, some of the services offered by Binance, such as derivatives trading, require a licence, which has not yet been granted to the crypto trading venue. According to Reuters, a criminal complaint was recently filed against Binance by Thailand’s regulatory authorities. The accusation here is operating a business with digital assets without a licence. In the Asian country, only licensed companies are allowed to offer services in connection with digital currencies.
In response, a Binance spokesperson assured that he would cooperate with the authorities and take the issue of compliance very seriously.
However, likely, the authorities in the various countries will ultimately have little influence on the crypto exchange’s business: “It is very difficult. The FCA doesn’t have jurisdiction over all the operating arms of Binance, so they only use the points that are within their jurisdiction and put pressure on the business there,” Linklaters lawyer Simon Treacy tells Reuters, citing the example of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is also taking action against the digital exchange, but with moderate success. Investors can still access the Binance website in the UK and trade digital currencies there.
Therefore, the UK regulator has so far been content to warn investors about the risks of using an unregulated financial trading venue and has only called on Binance to seek the necessary licence. The financial authorities in Japan and Germany have also already turned their attention to the crypto exchange. Japan, for example, expressed that Binance would act illegally in the country, while the German authorities warned the digital platform not to risk a fine by trading tokenised shares.
Binance US is so far unaffected by any law enforcement actions. Here, the crypto trading platform has Brian Armstrong, previously the Comptroller of the Currency of the USA, on their team of representatives, meaning that they will most likely hold all the necessary licenses. Though regulatory clarity is still also an issue in the United States, it is improbable that Brian Armstrong would not have assured that Binance US is fully compliant with the existing regulatory framework.