Cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has been facing tumultuous times as they have been the focus of several regulatory actions recently. The most recent blow just came from Malaysia.
The Securities Commission (SC) of Malaysia today announced that it has taken enforcement action against Binance for illegally operating a digital assets exchange (DAX) in the country, effectively banning the cryptocurrency exchange from serving Malaysians.
The directive gives Binance 14 business days to disable the Binance website (www.binance.com) and mobile applications in the country from 26 July 2021; immediately cease all media and marketing activities, including circulating, publishing, or sending any advertisements and/or other marketing material, whether via emails or otherwise, to Malaysian investors; and immediately restrict Malaysian investors from accessing Binance’s Telegram group. Adding that Binance CEO, Zhao Changpeng, “has also been specifically ordered to ensure that the above directives are carried out”
The announcement which was posted on the SC’s website stated that the enforcement action applied to Binance Holdings Limited (Registered in the Cayman Islands) and all entities related to it including its CEO Zhao Changpeng, Binance Digital Limited (Registered in the UK), Binance UAB (Registered in Lithuania) and Binance Asia Services Pte Ltd (Registered in Singapore). The regulatory body published an investor alert list in July 2020 that included Binance as one of the entities consumers should steer clear of as they had failed to register with the regulatory body under Sections 7(1) and 34(1) of the Malaysian Capital Markets and Services Act 2007, and currently claims Binance has failed to comply.
To its citizens, the SC issued a strong warning to Binance users to close their accounts with the exchange. “Investors are advised to stop dealing with and investing through illegal DAX. Those who currently have accounts with Binance are strongly urged to immediately cease trading through its platforms and to withdraw all their investments immediately” the announcement reads.
The enforcement action meets Binance at a time when it is also facing similar troubles from other countries and is working to ensure it remains compliant with regulators. The exchange also announced today it was winding down its futures and derivatives products offerings in Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands with immediate effect. The notice states that at a yet-to-be-disclosed date, a 90 days countdown will be begun for users from the countries to close their futures and derivatives positions.
Notably, several crypto observers have long been wary of the situation brewing with Binance. While Binance, which is the biggest cryptocurrency exchange globally, has been the major target of regulators, other exchanges are not exempt from their scrutiny. Other exchanges, including Hong Kong-registered FTX, have in recent times taken steps to be more compliant with regulators.