Hong Kong and Lithuania became the latest places to warn crypto exchange Binance about its operations. Hong Kong’s markets regulator said Binance is not registered to operate in its jurisdiction, while the Bank of Lithuania said it warned the company about “its unlicensed investment services.”
- Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said Friday that no entity in the Binance Group is registered to conduct any regulated activity in Hong Kong.
- The SFC raised concerns that Binance's stock tokens could be offered to Hong Kong investors.
- "Where the stock tokens are 'securities,' marketing and/or distributing such tokens – whether in Hong Kong or targeting Hong Kong investors – constitute a 'regulated activity' and require a license from the SFC unless an applicable exemption applies," the regulator said.
- Earlier today, Binance announced that it is discontinuing its stock token service, ending the sale of the tokens immediately and ceasing support for those already purchased in October.
- Lithuania's central bank also issued a warning about Binance's "unlicensed investment services."
- The announcements by the SFC and the Bank of Lithuania follow a string of similar warnings from regulatory bodies elsewhere, including the U.K., Japan and the Canadian province of Ontario.
- The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority's ruling was followed by several major banks in Britain, including Barclays and Santander blocking their customers from using their cards on Binance's platform.
UPDATE (July 16, 10:57 UTC): Adds details from SFC statement and earlier stock-token announcement from Binance.
UPDATE(July 16, 13:34 UTC): Adds Lithuania.