Global crypto exchange Binance is cutting down its crypto trading offerings in South Africa.
On October 8, Binance published a blog post announcing the immediate end to futures, options, margin and leveraged trading for users in South Africa. Users with open positions will have until January 6 to close them.
On the firm's local Telegram chat, a representative wrote: "Binance constantly evaluates its product and service offerings to ensure that they are not only welcomed by the users but also local regulators. We are following through with our commitment to compliance."
Binance is not registered as a financial service provider with South Africa's Financial Sector Conduct Authority, or FSCA, and it doesn't seem to have applied for registration.
Alongside Nigeria, South Africa is the leading market for crypto trading in Africa. While local crypto exchanges have historically been largely unregulated, scrutiny has picked up recently. Last month, the FSCA warned Binance against providing investment advice, which the firm denied it had been doing.
Just yesterday, the Financial Action Task Force released a new report on South Africa's anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) measures. With many of its numbers on crypto exchanges from 2019, the report noted a lack of information and licensing in the local crypto industry. It said of virtual asset services providers (VASPs):
"VASPs are not subject to AML/CFT obligations other than the reporting obligations that apply to all businesses and are not subject to AML/CFT supervision. Some VASPs have voluntarily registered."
Binance has had to cut down on its trading offerings and expand its know-your-customer standards around the world amid increasing regulatory scrutiny.