Image credit: Iryna Budanova via Shutterstock
Binance, one of the largest cryptoasset exchanges in the world, has once again been forced to halt transactions in pound sterling.
The China-founded crypto firm has been in and out of regulatory trouble in Britain. It was previously banned from UK activities by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2021.
Binance resumed its UK business in February 2022 through a partnership with the FCA-regulated fintech firm Paysafe.
However, London-based Paysafe is now pulling out of the deal, meaning new customers in the UK will be unable to begin trading with Binance. Furthermore, all UK services are set to be suspended from May.
Paysafe said that the “UK regulatory environment in relation to crypto is too challenging to offer this service at this time and so this is a prudent decision on our part taken in an abundance of caution”.
Binance said that it would “ensure that affected users are still able to access their GBP balances”.
The crypto industry has faced increased attention from UK regulators as the nation prepares to launch its crypto regulatory framework. Recent controversies in the industry, notably the collapse of FTX, have increased the pressure on lawmakers to sufficiently govern digital assets.
Binance and the FCA have long had a difficult relationship. The financial watchdog expressed concerns about Binance’s return to UK trading last year through Paysafe.
“Our concerns about Binance remain. We received a notification of this business partnership but have limited powers to object to arrangements of this kind,” an FCA spokesperson said at the time.
Banks have also been clamping down on crypto transactions. This week NatWest limited crypto payments for its customers over scam fears. Challenger bank Starling stopped supporting all crypto transactions last year.