Hello and welcome to the latest issue of Overbit News. Our first big headline is that Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, has been barred from functioning in the United Kingdom by the country's markets regulator, the latest hint of a global crackdown on the crypto sector.
The Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom stated on Saturday that Binance Markets Limited, Binance's U.K. business, "is not authorised to undertake any regulated activity in the United Kingdom."
From June 30, the business, which currently offers crypto trading to Brits via its website, must include a notice in a prominent location on its website and apps informing U.K. users of the following text: IN THE UK, BINANCE MARKETS LIMITED IS NOT PERMITTED TO ENGAGE IN ANY REGULATED ACTIVITY.
Binance Markets Limited cannot engage in any regulated activity without the FCA's prior written authorisation due to the introduction of regulations by the FCA. (No other entity in the Binance Group is authorised, registered, or licensed to operate a regulated business in the United Kingdom.) Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, was poised to launch its own exchange in the U.K.
Several crypto businesses, however, withdrew bids to register with the FCA due to noncompliance with anti-money laundering standards. "Binance Markets Limited withdrew its 5MLD application on May 17 2021, after significant interaction from the FCA," an FCA spokeswoman told CNBC. "The action taken on Binance Markets Limited today has been in the works for some time."
The FCA representative underlined that the ban's reach was limited. Despite the fact that Binance Markets Limited is not permitted to provide regulated services in the United Kingdom, non-registered enterprises can nonetheless interact with British customers. That implies Binance could still offer cryptocurrency trading to Brits via its website.
Nevertheless, Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency markets seemed to shrug off this bearish news coming out of the U.K. for Binance. By the time of writing, Bitcoin sat 8% up on Monday versus what it was on Friday before the weekend.
It certainly didn't hurt to have one of Mexico's largest billionaires, Mr Salinas Pliego, come out in full support of Bitcoin on Monday, June 28, via Twitter. "Me and my bank are working to be the first bank in Mexico to accept #Bitcoin," he said. With the El Salvador news barely in the rearview, it seems clear there's a cryptocurrency snowball rolling down Central and South America.
The good news didn't stop there, either. On the same day as the Pliego news, word came out from the United States that Cathie Wood's Ark Invest has filed a bitcoin exchange-traded fund application with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.
Wood, a long-time supporter of bitcoin, has been stockpiling proxies for the digital asset in companies such as Coinbase and Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. Now, the innovative investor wants to acquire the asset itself.
According to the SEC filing, the ETF's investing goal is to follow the performance of bitcoin.
The Securities and Exchange Commission again postponed a judgment on the first bitcoin ETF last week. The new move follows SEC Chairman Gary Gensler's request for increased regulation of bitcoin exchanges and more robust investor safeguards.
With this marking the 9th bitcoin ETF registered with SEC, it certainly seems sooner rather than later that the SEC, one of the world's largest rulemaking bodies in regards to assets, has to make a crucial decision on the cryptocurrency industry.
Thanks for reading, and we'll see you next week!