- Binance not authorised in Italy -regulator
- Scrutiny of platform growing across world
- UK, Thailand, Japan and Germany among others to target Binance
LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) – Binance is not authorised to carry out activities in Italy, the country’s market watchdog said on Thursday, joining a string of global regulatory moves against the cryptocurrency exchange.
Binance Group companies are not authorised to provide investment services and activities in Italy, despite sections of its website offering information in Italian on derivatives and tokenised versions of stocks, Consob said in a statement.
“Savers are invited to make use of their utmost diligence in order to make their investment choices in full awareness, verifying in advance that the websites through which they make the investment can be attributed to authorised subjects,” it said.
Consob has the power to order internet providers in the country to stop offering their services to unauthorised investment services providers, it said to Binance in a letter to the exchange’s lawyers seen by Reuters.
The regulator may also order unauthorised investment services providers to stop offering their services, the letter said.
It is unclear whether the regulator had requested that local internet companies block Binance’s website, or whether it has referred the case to magistrates.
A Binance spokesperson said its website did not operate out of Italy and that the Consob notice had no direct impact on its services. He declined to comment on the letter.
“We take a collaborative approach in working with regulators and we take our compliance obligations very seriously,” he added.
Scrutiny of the cryptocurrency sector is growing across the world, with regulators worried over consumer protection and the use of digital coins for money laundering and other criminal activities.
Britain’s financial watchdog last month barred Binance – one of the world’s biggest exchanges – from carrying out regulated activities in the UK. read more
Watchdogs in Thailand, Japan, Germany and the United States have also targeted the platform. read more
WORLD’S BIGGEST EXCHANGE
Binance was last month the world’s biggest exchange by spot trading volumes, data from CryptoCompare showed, with trading volumes in June at $668 billion – a near ten-fold jump from July 2020. read more
It offers a wide range of services to users across the globe, from crypto spot and derivatives trading to stock tokens – digital versions of equities.
Binance’s Italian-language channel on the Telegram messaging site has over 25,500 members.
The company’s corporate structure is opaque, with its holding company widely reported to be registered in the Cayman Islands. Binance has declined to comment on its location, saying it was “decentralised” and that it “works with a number of regulated entities around the world”.
Consob’s move comes after its head said last month the spread of cryptocurrencies without any clear regulation was a cause for concern and could damage the way the market operates. read more
Reporting by Tom Wilson and Anna Irrera. Additional reporting by Maria Pia Quaglia; editing by Jason Neely, Rachel Armstrong, Chizu Nomiyama and Steve Orlofsky
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