The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has cancelled Binance Australia's derivatives license, according to a press release on Thursday. The move comes following a request from Binance on April 5.
Binance Australia, an arm of the world's largest crypto exchange by trading volume, will close all of its customers' open derivatives positions by April 21. The platform had just 104 users as of yesterday, noted Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao in a tweet. Binance's spot crypto exchange in Australia will continue to operate, he added.
In a statement, Binance Australia said that it was "winding down" its derivatives product to "pursue a more focused approach."
“It is critically important that AFS licensees classify retail and wholesale clients in accordance with the law," ASIC Chairman Joseph Longo said in the release. "Retail clients trading in crypto derivatives are afforded important rights and consumer protections under financial-services laws in Australia, including access to external dispute resolution through the Australian Financial Complaints Authority,"
Longo added that ASIC supports a regulatory framework for crypto in Australia, insisting that the final decision lies with the government.
The move in Australia comes after the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued Binance and its founder, Changpeng Zhao, last week for offering unregistered derivatives products in the U.S.
UPDATE (April. 6, 08:35 UTC): Adds context throughout and statement from Binance Australia.
UPDATE (April. 6, 14:27 UTC): Adds statement from Binance CEO, adds that Binance requested removal on April 5.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.