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Binance Halts Crypto Debit Card in Latin America and Middle East — More Regulatory Pressure on Exchange

Last Updated August 25, 2023 8:21 AM
Omar Elorfaly
Last Updated August 25, 2023 8:21 AM

Key Takeaways

  • Binance to shut down debit card services in Middle East and Latin America.
  • Decision to come into effect in September.
  • The exchange needs non-US and non-EU markets to keep its doors open.

X (formerly Twitter) has become home to major announcements by crypto companies. It’s not only the tweets companies put out but also replies they choose to post in response to customer inquiries.

On the 24th of August, Binance’s official Twitter account responded  to a customer who wondered why their Binance card was not working as expected.

Unexplained Suspension

“Binance Card will no longer be available to users in Latin America and the Middle East,” Binance’s responded  to a customer’s complaint. 

Binance debit cards worked just like any other, being used to pay for groceries or to top up at a gas station. Only difference was that these cards were topped up using crypto tokens.

“The product, like most debit cards, has been utilized by Binance’s users to pay for basic daily expenses but in this case, the cards are funded with crypto assets.”

Binance’s response didn’t seem to carry any measure of concern as the company said only a tiny fraction of its clients would be affected by the decision.

“Only a tiny portion of our users (less than 1% of users in the markets mentioned) are impacted by this. Users of this product will have until September 21, 2023, when the card will no longer be available for use. Binance accounts around the world are not affected.

“Where available, users can also shop with crypto and send crypto using Binance Pay, a contactless, borderless and secure cryptocurrency payment technology designed by Binance.”

The exchange has yet to provide any justification for its decision.

Binance, Coinbase, and KuCoin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Binance Troubles In The West

The exchange is currently under heavy fire in Western markets. Starting with the US, Binance is currently facing litigation from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as the exchange is accused of 13 serious crimes including wash trading and commingling customer funds.

Binance is also facing a lawsuit filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission which claims that the exchange accessed US clientele through illegitimate means. 

Binance is also showing signs of a complete exit from Europe. The company has so far lost the means to continue normal operations in the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Cyprus, and more. The company struggles to comply with the EU’ strict regulatory framework which focuses heavily on anti-money laundering.

For those reasons, Binance needs to maintain its business in alternative markets, such as the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia.

On the bright side, Binance received Dubai’s first crypto license, giving the company the lead over competitors in the market.

Moreover, Binance officially entered the Japanese market by taking over an existing crypto exchange.


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