LONDON (Dispatches) - Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, has been banned by the UK’s financial regulator.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has ruled that the firm cannot conduct any “regulated activity” in the UK.
It also issued a consumer warning about Binance.com, advising people to be wary of adverts promising high returns on cryptoasset investments.
Binance said the FCA notice would have no “direct impact” on the services it provides from its website Binance.com.
Binance’s existing crypto exchange is not UK-based so despite the FCA ruling, there will be no impact on UK residents who use the website to purchase and sell cryptocurrencies.
The FCA does not regulate cryptocurrencies, but requires exchanges to register with them. Binance has not registered with the FCA and therefore is not allowed to operate an exchange in the UK.
The FCA move comes amid pushback from regulators around the world against cryptocurrency platforms.
Binance.com is an online centralized exchange that offers users a range of financial products and services, including purchasing and trading a wide range of digital currencies, as well as digital wallets, futures, securities, savings accounts and even lending.
Binance Group is currently based in the Cayman Islands, while Binance Markets Limited is an affiliate firm based in London. The firm has multiple entities dotted around the world and Binance Group was previously based in Malta.
Younger Indians Prefer Cryptocurrencies to
Despite the steps taken by the Indian government to severely restrict digital assets, investments in cryptocurrencies in the country reportedly surged from $200 million to around $40 billion in 2020 alone.
The number of Indians who opt to buy and sell digital coins has been increasing in recent years, and reportedly now exceeds 15 million.
This figure is rapidly catching up with the 23 million traders of cryptocurrencies in the U.S., and is much higher than the modest 2.3 million crypto-investors in Britain. Among Indian households – which, between them, own over 25,000 tons of gold – the growth of investment in digital currencies is reportedly coming from the 18-to-35 age group. Indians aged under 34 are not focused on investments in gold as much as older consumers are, according to the World Gold Council.