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Italy is banning Binance

Photo of: Joseph Stone
by Joseph Stone

Italy’s market regulator said today that Binance is not allowed to operate in Italy and joined a series of global regulatory actions for crypto-currency exchanges. Binance’s regulatory problems are escalating, and Italy is the latest country to issue a warning to global cryptocurrency exchanges. Other countries that have issued similar warnings include the United Kingdom, Japan, Thailand, and the Cayman Islands.

Italy’s financial markets regulator, Commsione Nazionale per le Societa e la Borsa (Consob), said in a press release on July 15 that Binance and its subsidiaries are not allowed to operate in Italy:

“Consob warns investors that Binance Group companies are not authorized to provide investment services and activities in Italy, including through www.binance.com, whose sections entitled ‘Derivatives’ and ‘Stock Tokens,’ relating to crypto-asset related instruments, were previously also written in Italian.”

Regulators warn the public when investing in cryptocurrencies or crypto-related investments, as it can result in a total loss of the investment amount:

“It is important that investors are informed that transactions in instruments related to crypto-assets may present risks that are not immediately apparent, due to their complexity, the high volatility of the prices of these instruments, as well as for the malfunctions and cyberattacks to which the IT infrastructures used for such operations may be subject.”

It seems that the regulator’s statement was motivated by the fact that some sections of the Binance website are translated into Italian. However, this seems to be more of a stunt than anything else. Why? It is true that a Binance Telegram group in Italian exists and has about 25,000 members. But, as Binance was keen to point out, the site does not operate from Italy! Thus, the spokesman of Binance commented that the statements of the Italian regulator had “no impact” on the services of the exchange!

Recently, Binance has had some serious problems with different countries such as Thailand, Japan, Germany, and the United States. Last month, its subsidiary Binance Markets Limited was banned in the UK. One of the reasons why Binance is so often scrutinized is because of its opaque structure. Binance, officially, does not have a registered office, which is questionable, to say the least.

Such conflicts make noise within the cryptosphere since Binance is one of the heavyweights in the field. However, this does not seem to disrupt the exchange’s activities or its users. For example, last month, Binance recorded the largest trading volume in the world with a total of $668 billion. This is ten times more than the figures for July 2020.