Home Crypto News News UK Exchanges Halt Services Leaving Customers in Limbo as FCA-Unregistered Firms Scramble for Lifeline

UK Exchanges Halt Services Leaving Customers in Limbo as FCA-Unregistered Firms Scramble for Lifeline

Teuta Franjkovic
Published October 12, 2023 12:10 PM
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Key Takeaways

  • Binance has met regulatory resistance in the UK.
  • FCA-Registered Zumo’s Michael Johnson states many UK exchanges have halted their services.
  • This abrupt stoppage leaves numerous crypto customers unable to buy or trade.

Binance’s efforts to reach out to British consumers have faced rejection from UK regulators through their latest legal framework on the cryptocurrency sector.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, seeking to navigate new industry regulations, collaborated with a locally regulated company to address ongoing disputes with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), but they have been let down.

FCA’s Strain On Binance’s UK Pursuits

The FCA recently dealt a blow  to Binance’s endeavors by adding Rebuildingsociety.com, one of Binance’s partners with offices in Leeds, to its list of regulated businesses prohibited from advertising cryptocurrency services in the UK. This comes after the exchange noted it would be in compliance with the new rules, on October 6.

This development represents a significant setback for Binance’s ambitions in the UK market, which has been a contentious space. It’s worth noting that the FCA had already instructed Binance to halt all regulated activities in the UK back in 2021 due to the exchange’s unresponsiveness.

Credit: CCData

Binance’s unique claim of having no fixed headquarters has created complexities in its interactions with regulatory authorities across the globe. Such loopholes are difficult to address because of the burgeoning relationship between regulators and crypto businesses.

The heart of the matter lies in this complex relationship between the cryptocurrency industry and regulatory authorities. While the FCA’s actions were initially viewed as a step toward establishing regulatory clarity and ensuring investor protection, the landscape is evolving in a way that raises questions about the regulator’s authority.

Legal victories for crypto projects, such as Ripple’s challenges to the SEC, bring into question the extent of regulatory power over digital assets. Experts are divided on the issue, with some arguing that regulation is essential to safeguard investors, while others view it as a hindrance to innovation.

For Binance and its partner Rebuildingsociety.com, the challenge has been complying with the evolving regulatory framework.

Despite Binance’s claims of dedicating substantial resources to adhere to the new FCA guidelines, the path ahead remains uncertain. Rebuildingsociety.com, on the other hand, faces the immediate task of discontinuing cryptocurrency marketing activities in response to the FCA’s directive.

Charting The Shifting Terrain Of Cryptocurrency Regulation

Michael Johnson, Head of Compliance of Zumo , the UK-based digital-asset-as-a-service platform, has seen firsthand how these rules are impacting businesses and clients. 

Johnson told CCN that with some operators pausing their UK operations, there will now be many customers holding crypto who will be unable to buy or trade.  

“The new regime has rightly limited the choices on offer for unregistered firms operating in the UK, and as such, we’re now seeing a number of them seeking our support to help with their existing UK customers,” he stated. 

On the other hand, he mentioned how by maintaining a close dialogue and consistent communication with the trade associations and the FCA, it’s possible to compromise. 

“We’ve always prioritised working within regulatory guidelines to ensure we’re always operating with strict compliance in the markets we serve,” he said and added that “a good relationship, and open conversation, with the regulator” enabled them to be informed about future regulations that may impact crypto industry. 

Johnson commented how the one of the ways of getting approved was participating in the FCA’s crypto sprints . 

“We’ve engaged with the trade associations’ consultation responses to help inform the regulator of what works for both consumers and our industry. We’ve also carefully assessed our approach following the regulator’s recommendations for our industry,” he said. 

Binance And Beyond

The evolving regulatory landscape in the UK demonstrates the growing complexities in the cryptocurrency sector, with authorities keen on protecting investors and maintaining control over a rapidly changing digital financial landscape.

The ongoing tussle between crypto exchanges, regulatory bodies, and the broader financial ecosystem leaves both businesses and investors in a state of flux, as they grapple with the question of how to cope with therrules.

In this competitive environment, even well-intentioned companies like Binance can quickly lose their position, so UK crypto users need to choose their service providers carefully.

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