Binance Received A Formal Warning From Japanese FSA

  • Binance accused Nikkei of "Irresponsible Journalism" but doesn't deny it
  • Binance to open "Fiat-To-Crypto Exchange" in Malta

The Financial Services Agency (FSA), Japan’s financial watchdog, issued an official warning to the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume - Binance, for operating in the country without a license.

In a statement released on the regulator's website, the Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange has been asked to discontinue its service to Japanese residents.  The news negatively reflected on the Bitcoin price, as it experienced a drop of around 4% in its value.

Binance Accused Nikkei Of "Irresponsible Journalism"

Nikkei, a Japanese newspaper, first reported about FSA’s warning to Binance. In its report, it stated that the financial regulator is planning to file criminal charges against Binance unless it plans to stop its operation in the country. However, CEO of Binance Zhao Changpeng reaffirmed its customers via a tweet that the company is in “active dialog” with the Japanese regulator. At the same time, Changpeng blasted Nikkei for its “irresponsible journalism”

Changpeng tweeted:

“Nikkei showed irresponsible journalism. We are in constructive dialogs with Japan FSA, and have not received any mandates. It does not make sense for JFSA to tell a newspaper before telling us, while we have an active dialog going on with them.”

Zhao Changpeng Binance CEO

Later, Changpeng confirmed on Twitter, that the company received the warning letter the day after Nikkei’s report. He tweeted

However, for now, the matter seems to have reached no conclusion and it is unknown whether Binance has halted its operations or still continuing work.  

Binance to Open "Fiat-To-Crypto Exchange" in Malta

Over the past months, Binance has been scouting for a crypto friendly location to station its headquarters. Binance recently announced it will set up a branch office in the Southern-European island country - Malta. The crypto exchange giant plans to launch its first “fiat-to-crypto exchange” exchange.

The Maltese Prime Minister welcomed Binance via a tweet:

For now, it is unclear if Binance will continue to process to acquire the license to operate in Japan, and will the FSA accept it. Until then the chances that the country will be host to Binance’s headquarters are slim to none.

Binance Raises Eyebrows After Confirming Coinmarketcap Acquisition

Binance Holdings Ltd., the firm behind leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has confirmed the acquisition of cryptoasset tracking platform CoinMarketCap.

In a blog post, Binance confirmed the acquisition and claimed CoinMaketCap “stays committed” to providing quality cryptocurrency data to its users “while benefiting from Binance’s expertise, resources and scale.” It added CoinMarketCap has “maintained independence from external stakeholders since its inception” and will keep being an independent business entity.

In the post, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao was quoted as saying CoinMarketCap is the “landing page of crypto.” The acquisition was first reported on by TheBlock, which wrote the platform could be changing hands for as much as $400 million in cash and stock.

While Binance’s BNB token and the Binance exchange are listed on the platform, the post responded to users’ concerns surrounding the acquisition writing:

CoinMarketCap and Binance are separate entities that maintain a strict policy of independence from one another: Binance has no bearing on CoinMarketCap rankings, while CoinMarketCap has no influence over Binance’s operations.

As CryptoGlobe reported, users expressed concern surrounding CoinMarketCap’s data after the acquisition was first reported, as managing the platform could be very beneficial for Binance, which could use it as a funnel to gain new users.

Speaking to Bloomberg News Nic Carter, co-founder of Coin Metrics, noted that Binance could also set its platform as the preferred exchange by topping the rankings by default.  Carter added:

While the move may cause some to question CMC’s [CoinMarketCap’s] ability to remain a neutral data provider, it could potentially be very productive for Binance.

Binance’s blog post details CoinMarketCap’s founder Brandon Chez is stepping down as CEO to focus on his family, while current Chief Strategy Officer Carylyne Chain has been named interim CEO.

The cryptocurrency exchange recently raised users’ ire after participating in what was dubbed a hostile takeover of the STEEM blockchain, later on removing the vote. CoinMarketCap’s data itself has also been heavily criticized, with one filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission from Bitwise Asset Management arguing 95% of the trading volume it reports is fake or non-economical in nature.

Cryptocurrency exchanges have been known to use schemes that help boost their trading volumes – in some cases allegedly going as far as wash trading – to boost their rankings on CoinMarketCap and gain visibility.

Addressing the issue Zhao noted it wasn’t an easy problem to fix, adding that almost everything “requires some kind of judgement or algorithm.” While the acquisition comes at a time in which the economy has been suffering because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Market volatility has, however, been good for crypto exchanges. Zhao revealed Binance’s traffic increased about five times over the past few weeks, while Coinbase had already revealed its volumes grew after the March 12-13 market crash.

Featured image by David McBee from Pexels