On Monday, Binance said it would suspend withdrawals and deposits for anybody using UK currency. The news came after the world’s largest crypto exchange’s banking partner in the UK, Paysafe, said it was abandoning crypto, at least as far as Binance was concerned.
In a statement to Gizmodo, a Paysafe spokesperson said that it was “too challenging” to offer its embedded wallet cryptocurrency services to UK customers because of the regulatory atmosphere in the UK. Paysafe is based in London, and said this decision was “taken in an abundance of caution.” Paysafe did not clarify whether it was abandoning crypto altogether, or just in its partnership with Binance.
Paysafe called its UK portion of its crypto business “small” but clarified it was still working with Binance elsewhere in Europe and in Latin America.
We also reached out to Binance for comment, but we did not immediately hear back. Binance suspended withdrawals and deposits for any new customers using British pounds late on Monday, and according to Bloomberg the crypto exchange plans to suspend all GBP transactions for all customers starting May 22. The company is reportedly working to find “an alternative solution” to again allow customers to trade GBP for crypto.
Last year, the United Kingdom’s top financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, mumbled its concerns after Paysafe brought back pound deposits back to Binance. This was after the FCA warned customers Binance did not have permission to offer these Faster Payment services in the country.
In February, the UK government released its own plans to regulate the crypto market. The Treasury’s consultation paper, as its called, could create new rules around crypto custody and lending activities. The International Monetary Fund has also come out for even more crypto regulation, even going so far as to threaten bans if companies can’t step up enforcement.
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