Binance crypto exchange banned, Italian regulator says as crackdown intensifies
LONDON: Binance is not allowed to operate in Italy, the country’s market watchdog said Thursday (July 15th), joining a series of global regulatory measures against the cryptocurrency exchange.
Binance group companies are not permitted to provide investment services and activities in Italy, despite sections of its website offering information in Italian, Consob said in a statement.
“Savers are invited to exercise the utmost diligence in making their investment choices in full knowledge of the facts, by checking beforehand that the websites through which they make the investment can be attributed to authorized subjects” , he specifies.
A Binance spokesperson said its website is not operating from Italy and the Consob notice has no direct impact on its services.
“We take a collaborative approach in working with regulators and we take our compliance obligations very seriously,” he added.
The review of the cryptocurrency industry is growing around the world, with regulators concerned about consumer protection and the use of digital coins for money laundering and other criminal activity.
The UK financial watchdog last month banned Binance – one of the world’s largest exchanges – from carrying out regulated activities in the UK.
Guard dogs in Thailand, Japan, Germany and the United States have also targeted the platform.
THE BIGGEST EXCHANGE IN THE WORLD
Binance was the world’s largest exchange last month in terms of spot trading volumes, according to data from CryptoCompare, with trading volumes of $ 668 billion in June, a nearly ten-fold jump from July 2020.
It offers a wide range of services to users around the world, ranging from spot and crypto derivatives trading to stock tokens – digital versions of stocks.
Binance’s Italian-language channel on the Telegram messaging site has more than 25,500 members.
The company’s corporate structure is opaque, with its holding company largely registered in the Cayman Islands. Binance declined to comment on its location, saying it was “decentralized” and “works with a number of regulated entities around the world.”
Consob’s move comes after its chief said last month that the spread of cryptocurrencies without any clear regulation was a cause for concern and could damage the functioning of the market.