South Africa and Singapore join the list of countries to warn against cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance. Regulators in South Africa and Singapore warned that the global cryptocurrencyexchange is in violation of their regulatory laws.
South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority, on Friday, issued a notice to warn against Binance, stating: “The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) warns the public to be cautious and vigilant when dealing with Binance Group as they are not authorized to give any financial advice or render any intermediary services in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS Act) in South Africa.” The regulatory authority highlighted that Binance’s crypto-related investments were currently not regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), or any other body in South Africa.
In the same vein, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank that supervises the cryptocurrency sector in the country, issued a statement on Thursday which stated that the operations of Binance.com (the international version and main exchange) in the country were in breach of the Payment Services Act.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) also stated that Binance.com is required to stop providing payments to Singapore residents and to “cease soliciting such business from Singapore residents.” Currently, Binance is listed on Singapore’s central bank’s Investor Alert list, which serves to warn consumers that the company is not authorized to provide any payment services in Singapore.
Responding to the MSA’s notice on Binance.com, Binance Singapore, which operates under Binance Asia Services, said that the notice has no direct impact on the services it provides. “Binance Singapore (Binance.sg) is a separate legal entity from Binance.com, with its own local executive and management team and does not offer any products or services via the Binance.com website or other related entities, and vice versa,” Binance Singapore said.
In a separate statement, Binance.com said that it was actively working with Singapore’s Monetary Authority to address concerns that they may have through constructive dialogue. “We take our compliance obligations very seriously. We are actively keeping abreast of changing policies, rules, and laws in this new space. We will work closely with MAS and other global regulators to comply with the relevant regulatory standards,” Binance.com said.
In the past months, Binance has been the target of scrutiny and probes from global regulators. In April, German regulators mentioned that the exchange risked being fined for offering tokens connected to stock. In May, Binance was under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service. In June, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) banned Binance from undertaking any regulated activity in the country. Japan’s financial regulator also warned that Binance was operating in the country illegally. In July, Thailand’s Securities and Futures Commission filed a criminal complaint against Binance on claims that it was operating a digital asset business without a license. Governments and financial watchdogs have also enacted stringent rules that now act as barriers restraining the activities of crypto exchanges like Binance.
Currently, Binance Asia Services is prevented from holding a license under Singapore’s Payment Services Act for the provision of digital payment token services as its license application has been placed under review.