Crypto exchange Binance announced Friday that it will no longer offer crypto futures and options trading to users in three European countries: Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.
With immediate effect, new users from these countries will no longer be able to open accounts with Binance to trade crypto derivatives. As for existing users, Binance said it will announce a date later, and from that date, users from these countries will have 90 days to close their open positions.
While the initial action is on the three regions, Binance said it has plans to shut its crypto derivatives trading offering across the European region.
"As the crypto ecosystem evolves globally, we are continually evaluating our products and working with our partners to meet our users’ needs," said Binance.
The move comes as Binance is facing increasing scrutiny from regulators around the world. Earlier this month, the exchange also ceased its stock tokens trading offering.
Binance CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao recently said that the crypto space is now "relatively heavily regulated," and that Binance has to make a "big pivot from a technology startup into a financial services company."
He went on to say that Binance is looking to set up physical headquarters in multiple jurisdictions as regulators want to see offices and legal entities. Until now, Binance says it has operated in a "decentralized" manner. But given the mounting regulatory pressure, Zhao is, in fact, open to the idea of having new Binance CEO with a "very strong regulatory background."
Binance launched its futures trading platform in September 2019 and options trading in April 2020. It is the largest bitcoin futures trading platform in terms of both open interest and trading volume, according to The Block Data Dashboard.
Binance had nearly $14 billion worth of open interest, or the value of outstanding derivative contracts that are yet to be settled, as of July 29. In percentage terms, that is nearly 24% of the market share.
As for volumes, Binance has had over $713 billion worth of trading volume for its bitcoin futures for this month so far, per the data dashboard.
Binance's options trading volume for this month so far is $51.5 million, according to data compiled by The Block.
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