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South African Regulator Issues Warning Over Binance

The crypto exchange is barred from offering services in the country.

Sep 3, 2021 at 12:03 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 3, 2021 at 8:38 p.m. UTC

South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), which regulates financial products and services in the country, warned people to be “cautious and vigilant” in their dealings with Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange.

  • Binance, which has come under increasing regulatory pressure in recent weeks, isn’t authorized to provide advice or services in the country, the authority said.
  • “In addition to this entity not being authorized to provide any financial services or business, crypto-related investments are currently not regulated by the FSCA or any other body in South Africa,” it said in a statement.
  • Because the exchange isn’t regulated, customers have no recourse and risk losing any investments if something goes wrong, the regulator said.
  • In a response issued by a Binance spokesperson, the company emphasized that it does not provide financial advice nor render any intermediary services. It also said it was continuing to work closely with South Africa’s Financial Intelligence Center (FIC), which Binance called the principal regulator of financial crimes in the country.
  • Binance noted that it has registered with the FIC as a voluntary self-disclosure institution, and has collaborated with the organization on over 462 cases so far in 2021. The company added that “we have reached out to the FSCA for more clarification on their statement and look forward to working with them and addressing any concerns they may have.”
  • Binance has faced a string of warnings from regulators and other bodies around the world, which have spurred its attempts to become more proactive in its dealing with regulators.

UPDATE (Sept. 3, 20:37 UTC): Updated with Binance’s response to the warning in the fourth and fifth bullet points.

DISCLOSURE

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.

Sheldon Reback is a CoinDesk news editor based in London.

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