The US crypto giant Binance has temporarily ceased offering services to Israeli clients after coming under regulatory scrutiny.
According to a Thursday report by the local Israeli media Globe, the country’s financial regulator, Capital Markets Authority (CMA), has asked the crypto exchange to provide information about its licenses as well as about the essence of the services it offers. The CMA demands that all crypto exchanges that operate in the country have a local license, and is responsible for issuing such licenses. However, the regulator states that it has not even received a license application from Binance. Reportedly, the crypto exchange currently has around 200 000 Israeli customers.
“Following the intervention of the capital market, Binance has at this stage stopped marketing to Israelis and all activities focused on Israel until we examine the issue of licensing,” says the CMA in the statement published on Thursday.
Binance’s answer was to stop listing the Israeli currency, Israeli Shekel, as a payment option, and to cease offering customer support in Hebrew. They have not, however, issued an official statement on the subject as of yet.
This is not the first time Binance has had trouble with financial regulators. Although it is currently the largest crypto exchange in the world, Binance still does not hold any sort of license or operate from official physical headquarters. The authorities of Italy, Malaysia, Poland, Germany, Canada, and Japan have all advised investors to stay vigilant and tread with caution when using the crypto exchange’s services. As a result of the pressure the company has been facing in recent years, Binance was forced to reduce offerings of various financial instruments in Europe. The culmination came in July 2021 when the UK regulatory body, the FCA, issued an official warning on Binance Markets Limited and the Binance Group based on the fact that the crypto exchange has no official permission to undertake any activities in the country.
It seems like the crypto giant is actively trying to improve its relationship with regulators around the globe and it is currently looking for a location for its global headquarters. Binance has also started hiring former employees of different financial authorities.
It remains unclear how the situation in Israel will be resolved. The country has previously been relatively open to digital assets with the introduction of a digital shekel being in the works for around five years.