Binance Futures is forced out of Australia as crypto regulation tightens

  • Binance ceases options, futures and leveraged token offerings in Australia to comply with local regulations.
  • The exchange offered traders time to close their positions, allowing them to top-up their positions to avoid liquidation ahead of the 90-day period.
  • This is the fourth time Binance has discontinued its derivatives offering to avoid regulatory issues.

Regulators around the world are tightening the noose around cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance. The world’s largest exchange has faced increased pressure from regulatory authorities to comply with regulations across jurisdictions. 

Binance derivatives pulled out of Australia amid rising regulatory pressure

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has announced that it is rolling back its futures and options trading in Australia. The exchange has succumbed to regulatory pressure and removed support for another derivatives product, leveraged tokens that allowed traders to open leveraged positions in cryptocurrencies without the risk of liquidation. 

The announcement on the official blog reads,

Effective from 2021-09-24 09:00 AM (UTC), existing Australian users will have 90 days to reduce and close their positions for these products. Users will be able to top-up margin balances to prevent margin calls and liquidations, but they will not be able to increase or open new positions.

Starting September 23, 11:59 UTC, traders will not be able to close their positions manually, and the remaining ones will be closed by the exchange platform. 

The traders have a total of 90 days, starting September 24, as Binance makes its slow exit from the derivatives market. 

Earlier this year, Binance’s futures platform reduced the maximum available leverage from 101x to 20x in response to increasing regulatory oversight. The exchange has taken a pro-regulation approach and pulled out its peer-to-peer and fiat-crypto pairs in jurisdictions like Singapore in the first week of September. 

Despite the cryptocurrency exchange’s positive approach toward embracing regulation in the jurisdictions where it operates, regulatory authorities and financial watchdogs are attentive to its every move. 

Binance is now reportedly under investigation by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for possible market manipulation and insider trading. 

The exchange’s tussle with government authorities is far from over. The latest developments put Binance at the center of an investigation to find whether the exchange exploited its customers and took advantage of their trading activities on its platform. 

A spokesperson for the exchange states that Binance has:

a zero-tolerance policy for insider trading and a strict ethical code related to any type of behavior that could have a negative impact on our customers or industry.

Regulators in Japan, Singapore, Italy, Germany, Cayman Islands and South Africa have investigated Binance for money laundering, operating without a license and evading taxes. The exchange has responded by building a force of executives specializing in compliance, withdrawing its products based on regulatory pressure and complying with requirements of different jurisdictions. 

The scrutiny intensifies, and the uphill battle with regulatory authorities and financial watchdogs is likely to continue as the exchange tackles its challenges with newly hired executives with experience in compliance. 

Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance, recently stated in an interview, 

We are hiring a large team of seasoned compliance, ideally ex-regulators, so they come into our organization, they understand what’s going on internally, and then they can speak the same language to their ex-colleagues.

Binance continues to progress along the lines of flattening the altitude difference between regulators and cryptocurrency exchanges and complying with regulatory requirements. 

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