Binance not allowed to operate in South Africa
For Binance, the last three months have been difficult. Since the British authorities decided to ban the local version of Binance, several countries have followed the trend by taking more or less restrictive measures. After Japan, Italy and Singapore, it is now South Africa’s turn to attack the exchange platform.
In a press release published last Friday, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA, the local AMF) warns that Binance, ” an international company based in the Seychelles “, is not authorized to give financial advice or provide intermediation services on the territory.
Without pronouncing any regulation, the regulator urges all South African residents to be ” cautious and vigilant “.
According to the FSCA, Binance users in the country can register on the platform through a Telegram group. The South African financial authority points out that these people run many risks by using Binance or any unlicensed platform. However, it does not mention the possibility of a future blocking.
Binance has tentatively responded to the South African regulator
A Binance spokesperson responded to the FSCA’s warning by simply stating that the Chinese-born platform did not offer financial advice or provide intermediation services. As for the Telegram group, it would only serve to promote blockchain technology.
This response is a bit timid, as the South African regulator is far from being the first to reframe Binance, accused of operating without authorization in many countries. These warnings or bans have little or no effect on the other major trading platforms, which are generally based in the United States.
Changpeng Zhao, the CEO and founder of Binance, reiterated in July that he did not want the platform to operate without a license and therefore illegally. Instead, he would like Binance to discuss with all regulators and for the platform to be in compliance with all the legislation of the countries in which it has customers.
The FSCA recalls that cryptocurrencies are not regulated
In South Africa, more and more people are using cryptocurrencies. However, the FSCA points out that they are not regulated. As was the case until a few years ago in Europe, local authorities point out that in some cases there is no way to recover money invested that has been lost or stolen by hackers.
The FSCA took the opportunity to point out that a special authorization and license are required to offer financial services in the country. The regulator accuses Binance of bypassing this licensing requirement by going through a Telegram group.
Last June, South Africa’s central bank directed lawmakers to regulate cryptocurrencies in a progressive and structured manner. This regulation would rather aim to regulate the use of digital assets and not to ban them.
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About the author : Benjamin Allouch
Formerly a lawyer specialized in personal data and digital law, I quickly became interested in Bitcoin, blockchain technology and their legal implications. I am now a freelance consultant and writer in the field of cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
All articles by Benjamin Allouch.