Binance, the leading cryptocurrency exchange by volume of trade, continues to come under scrutiny from regulators regarding the legality of its operations in certain countries.
Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) are the latest financial regulators to announce a regulatory crackdown on Binance.
Thai SEC ad On Friday, the agency filed a criminal complaint against Binance, launching criminal proceedings and an investigation for allegedly operating an unlicensed digital asset business. The authority said Binance provided crypto trading services through its website by “matching orders or arranging counterparties or providing the system or facilitating a deal.”
“In doing so, Binance has solicited the Thai public and investors to use its services, either through its website or through its Facebook page: Binance Thai Community,” the SEC noted. The regulator mentioned that it previously sent a warning letter to Binance in April, requiring the exchange to submit a written response, but the crypto exchange did not submit a response within the allotted timeframe.
“Only providers who have obtained the relevant licenses under the law are permitted to provide services related to trading, exchanging, custodial, transfer, withdrawal or any transaction related to digital assets. Violators may be subject to penalties under the law, ”the agency noted.
Thailand’s SEC announcement comes just a day after CIMA officially ad Thursday, that entities such as Binance, Binance Group and Binance Holdings are “not registered, licensed, regulated or otherwise permitted” to operate any crypto exchange “from or within the Cayman Islands.” The regulator stressed that none of the listed entities is subject to its regulatory oversight.
CIMA has indicated that it will also investigate any other Binance affiliates with activities operating in or from the Cayman Islands.
The authority added that any crypto-related company incorporated under the Cayman Islands Companies Act 2020 or otherwise established in the Cayman Islands must be registered under the country’s digital asset service providers law or by any existing regulated entity to which the authority has granted an exemption under the act.
A Binance spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the crypto exchange has “always operated in a decentralized fashion.” The representative denied reports regarding Binance’s crypto operations in the Cayman Islands, adding:
“We do, however, have entities incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands carrying on activities permitted by law and not related to the operation of crypto-exchange trading activities.”
Related: Binance Tackles Compliance with Travel Rules After Multiple Bans
As a major global exchange, Binance struggles to find the right jurisdiction to operate its cryptocurrency business. Founded in China before the state banned crypto trading in 2017, Binance has moved overseas and is said to have its headquarters in the Cayman Islands and Seychelles in February 2020.
Binance is known to have multiple entities around the world and would previously have its headquarters in Malta. Last February, the Malta Financial Services Authority claimed it had never authorized Binance to operate in the country.
The latest news comes amid another crackdown on Binance activity globally, with governments such as the UK, Japan, Canada and the US closely following the exchange’s operations recently. . According to a report released Thursday by Bloomberg, the Monetary Authority of Singapore plans to review Binance Asia Services’ license application amid its parent company under regulatory review around the world.