ASIC Raids Binance Australia as Global Regulatory Hurdles Mount
Binance, recognized as the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, is currently facing an increasing number of regulatory issues across various global jurisdictions.
As reported by Bloomberg, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) executed a search operation at the offices of Binance Australia. This operation is a part of an ongoing inquiry into the crypto giant's now-closed local derivatives business, highlighting the intensifying regulatory scrutiny Binance is encountering.
ASIC, the authority overseeing corporate affairs, markets, financial services, and consumer credit in Australia, has been rigorously examining Binance Australia's classification of retail and wholesale clients. In April, Binance disclosed its plans to phase out its local derivatives exchange but affirmed the continued operation of its spot platform. However, the same month saw the revocation of Binance Australia's derivatives operation license.
Fast forward to May 18, 2023, Binance announced via Twitter that it would cease facilitating PayID AUD deposits, attributing the decision to its third-party payment service provider. The firm also indicated potential disruptions to bank transfer withdrawals.
Beyond Australia, Binance's regulatory woes are expansive. On June 5, 2023, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed charges against Binance Holdings Ltd., its U.S. affiliate BAM Trading Services Inc., and founder Changpeng Zhao, citing multiple securities law infringements. Following this, on June 17, Binance agreed to repatriate assets held for the benefit of Binance.US customers as part of an emergency relief secured by the SEC.
Binance's regulatory hurdles also extend to Europe. On June 23, the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) directed Binance to cease offering its crypto exchange and custody wallet services in Belgium. Shortly after, on June 29, German financial regulator Bafin reportedly rejected a proposal from Binance, escalating the company's regulatory challenges.