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Crypto exchange Binance unauthorised, says Italian regulator, as crackdown widens

  • Binance not authorised in Italy – regulator.
  • Scrutiny of platform growing across world.
  • UK, Thailand, Japan and Germany among others to target Binance.
Published July 15, 2021

LONDON: 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, 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.

A Binance spokesperson said its website did not operate out of Italy and that the Consob notice had 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.

Cryptocurrency trading volumes slump 40pc in June

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.

Watchdogs in Thailand, Japan, Germany and the United States have also targeted the platform.

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.

It offers a wide range of services to users across the globe, from crypto spot and derivatives trading to so-called stock tokens - digital versions of equities.

UAE says to launch digital currency within five years

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.

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