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Binance Australia Under Investigation, Offices Searched by Regulator

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: iStock/btgbtg

Australia‘s financial regulator has visited Binance offices as part of an ongoing probe into the company’s defunct local derivatives business. 

On Tuesday, officials from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) conducted searches at Binance Australia‘s offices, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. 

The investigation revolves around Binance Australia’s classification of clients as retail or wholesale investors. 

Back in April, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange announced the closure of its local derivatives exchange, claiming that it had incorrectly classified some Australian users as wholesale investors. 

A spokesperson for ASIC told Bloomberg that they “are unable to confirm or deny any operational detail such as possible searches,” but confirmed that their review of Binance Australia is still ongoing.

Meanwhile, Binance has said it is working with regulators in the country, emphasizing its dedication to meeting regulatory standards. 

“We are cooperating with local authorities and Binance is focused on meeting local regulatory standards in order to serve our users in Australia in a fully compliant manner,” a Binance spokesperson told Cryptonews.com.

In May, cryptocurrency exchange Binance Australia told customers they would lose access to Australian dollar deposits and withdrawals due to a decision by its third-party service provider. 

While the platform did not disclose the third-party service provider, reports claimed that Westpac, one of the biggest Australian banks, was the platform. 

In a separate announcement, Westpac also revealed that it had banned customers from transferring funds to several crypto exchanges. 

Moreover, Australia’s Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has applied partial restrictions to bank payments to crypto exchanges, citing “scams and the amount of money lost by customers.” 

Binance Under Increasing Regulatory Scrutiny

Binance has come under increasing scrutiny from various global regulators as of late. 

Last month, the SEC sued Binance and its CEO for their “blatant disregard of the federal securities laws,” unveiling 13 charges against the platform, including operating an unregistered exchange.

The agency accused Binance of breaking the law by offering unregistered securities to the general public, including its BNB token and BUSD stablecoin.

Other charges levied against Binance by the SEC included the company’s failure to register as a broker as well as its failure to register as an exchange. 

Likewise, French authorities conducted a visit to Binance’s office in France last month. They are investigating allegations of illegal provision of digital-asset services and aggravated money laundering.

The exchange was also ordered to cease operations in Nigeria by the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

It is worth noting that Binance is not the only crypto company that has attracted the ire of US regulators; the SEC has also sued Coinbase, the largest US-based cryptocurrency exchange. 

Moreover, the commission has taken enforcement action against crypto exchanges Kraken and Bittrex, as well as crypto lending platform Nexo so far this year.