Janet Yellen and Christine Lagarde’s alarms paid off. Binance will tighten the grip on users – Executive Digest

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced this Friday that it will require more background on customers to prevent money laundering.

The new measure is a clear response to concerns expressed in recent months by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, for whom the likelihood of money laundering in the encryption market is “worrisome”.

Users will have to complete a verification process to access their tokens, otherwise they will not be able to carry out any transaction, “they can only withdraw money and close accounts”, can be read on the company’s website.

On Wednesday, the world’s largest cryptocurrency platform sent a statement to newsrooms reporting the hiring of Greg Monahan, a former criminal investigator for the US Treasury Department, as a senior official in the internal fight against money laundry.

“I will focus on expanding international anti-money laundering programs as well as strengthening the relationship between Binance and regulators,” said Greg Monahan.

In July, Jonathan Farnel, an executive with more than 20 years of experience in the financial industry, was recruited by Binance to strengthen its European compliance team (“European Compliance Team”), revealed the company in a statement. These signings come at the same time that the platform had to take measures to react to the attack of several regulators, around the world.

In the first week of July, exchange users received an email informing them that bank deposits throughout the SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) would be suspended. in euros, under identical conditions, rights and obligations, irrespective of their location, inside or outside the EU), after several regulators launched the “red alert”, due to the fact that the exchange operates in several countries without a license.

“We are working with our partners to find a solution. Thank you for understanding”, can be read in the email sent to the users. The message also clarifies that all deposits made in this context will be returned “within seven working days”.

The same email clarifies, however, that users “may continue to buy cryptocurrencies and make deposits in euros to their account, via debit or credit cards”, but does not indicate a date for the situation to return to normal.

In late June, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a statement on its own website, where it announced that it had ordered the closure of all activities of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency platform. The regulator also warned that the order to “close the doors” extends to the entire Binance Group.

“Binance Markets Limited is currently not authorized to carry out any regulated activities without the prior written consent of the FCA”, therefore, until requested, the Binance Group is not authorized to operate in the UK.

Following this warning, several UK banks such as Barclays and Natwest froze money transfers to and from Binance.

The British regulator’s decision came shortly after its Japanese counterpart, the Financial Services Agency, issued a similar warning. The archipelago’s supervisory body even threatened the exchange to go ahead with a lawsuit, if it did not stop developing activities of management and transaction of digital currencies, without a license.

In April, it was Germany’s turn to warn its investors that they could be “violating the Securities Code”, as the platform did not have any authorization from Berlin to carry out crypto activities in the country.

In Thailand, the country’s financial regulator has filed a lawsuit against the exchange for operating without a state license.

This week, it was the Netherlands’ turn to announce that the exchange was operating in the state, without permission to do so.

On the company’s blog, the CEO of Binance reacted to these attacks. “The area of ​​compliance is a world of discovery especially for industries like ours involved in the crypto market,” Changpeng Zhao wrote.

“Our sector still lives in uncertainty. We grew a lot in a very short time, but we understand that the greater the expansion (of a company) the greater its responsibility should be”, added the CEO.

“As a startup that has only been in business for four years, Binance still has a lot of room to grow,” said Zhao. “The company grew very quickly and we didn’t always have everything as it should be, but we are learning and improving day by day”, defended the executive.

Binance has a list of more than 100 digital assets, being since 2018 the most quoted exchange in the world. In that same year, in Japan alone and in one hour, 240,000 people tried to join the platform, which led the company to limit the number of adhesions, as reported by Bloomberg at the time.