World's largest crypto exchange halts derivative trading in SA after watchdog warning

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The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange will no longer derivative trading services in South Africa following a meeting with the country’s financial sector watchdog.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange will no longer derivative trading services in South Africa following a meeting with the country’s financial sector watchdog.
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Binance, which by volume is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, will no longer offer derivative trading services in South Africa following a meeting with the country’s financial sector watchdog.

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) said "restrictions" imposed on Binance include the opening of any new accounts to trade derivatives and the closure all existing accounts currently trading derivatives within 90 days of the notice of the change. 

Derivative trading involves speculating on the future movement of the price of an asset, which in Binance’s case is cryptocurrency, through specific contracts. 

Binance said in a statement on its site last week that it would no longer offer futures trading, options trading, margin trading and leveraged tokens in South Africa.

"Our aim is to create a sustainable ecosystem around blockchain technology and digital assets. Binance welcomes developments to our industry’s regulatory framework as they pose opportunities for the market players to have greater collaboration with the regulators," it said. 

The FSCA had previously issued a warning to the public to be "cautious and vigilant" when dealing with the Binance Group. 

According to that previous statement issued by the FSCA, Binance is not authorised to give any financial advice or render any intermediary services in South Africa in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS Act).

In September, Binance was forced to stop offering services  in Singapore after a potential breach of local payment rules.

This, along with the restrictions in South Africa mark the latest blows for Binance, which has grown hugely since its 2017 debut.

The firm has also drawn scrutiny from regulators in the UK, the US, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan. In the US, Binance Holdings is under investigation by that country's Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service in efforts to root out illicit activity in the crypto world.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

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