Binance Halts Sterling Deposits and Withdrawals
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Binance said that the world’s largest crypto exchange had ceased dollar transfers. The spokesperson said that Binance had been informed by its partner for sterling transfers, Paysafe, that it would halt its services from May 22. This impacts all Binance customers. Sterling transfers for new users were stopped on Monday.
Binance is ensuring that all affected users will still be able to access their GBP balances. Although the change will impact less than 1% of Binance’s customers, the company is working hard to find an alternative solution for sterling transfers.
The cessation of sterling transfers, first reported by crypto news outlet The Block, is the latest in a long line of obstacles for Binance in accessing traditional currencies. Binance last month suspended all dollar bank transfers amid a growing crackdown on crypto by U.S. authorities.
The Justice Department is also investigating Binance, run by billionaire CEO Changpeng Zhao, for suspected money laundering and sanctions violations, Reuters has previously reported. A top Binance executive told The Wall Street Journal that the company is expecting a “pretty big fine” from the U.S. government.
Binance has been struggling to access dollars, and this has been made even more difficult after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission told the company which issued its “BUSD” stablecoin it was considering taking action against it. This has sparked around $6 billion in outflows as of earlier this month.
It is unclear the importance of sterling funding to Binance. The company does not make public its finances, with the core of the business – the giant Binance.com exchange – mostly hidden from public view.
Paysafe did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters. The company offers the service via UK payments network Faster Payments, which also had no immediate comment.
A spokesperson for Skrill, the Paysafe unit that works with Binance, told crypto website Decrypt that “cryptocurrencies are still in their infancy and, as such, the regulatory environment in relation to them is still evolving. We want to ensure that we are operating in a compliant manner and, given the current uncertainty around regulation, we have decided not to offer this service at this time.”