Announced today, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has revoked the Australian financial services (AFS) license held by Oztures Trading Pty Ltd, trading as Binance Australia Derivatives.
ASIC states that the cancellation took effect as Binance had requested the move.
Binance will cease providing services on April 21, 2023, and asks clients to close any positions prior to that date.
ASIC has been reviewing Binance’s operations in the country and recently announced a hearing to determine whether or not it should cancel or suspend Binance’s license.
ASIC Chair Joe Longo commented on Binance in Australia, stating it is important that AFS license holders classify retail and wholesale investors in accordance with the law.
“Retail clients trading in crypto derivatives are afforded important rights and consumer protections under financial services laws in Australia, including access to external dispute resolution through the Australian Financial Complaints Authority. Our targeted review of these matters is ongoing, including focus on the extent of consumer harms,” said Long.
ASIC noted that it continues to warn consumers about the risk affiliated with crypto investing, and many products remain unregulated in Australia. Longo said that ASIC supports a regulatory framework for crypto with a focus on market integrity and investor protection.
Binance Australia Derivatives (Oztures Trading Pty Ltd) held a license that allowed it to:
- issue and make a market in derivatives and foreign exchange contracts,
- deal in specified financial products on behalf of another person and
- provide financial product advice in specified financial products to retail clients and wholesale clients.
It is interesting to note that ASIC referenced the recent enforcement action filed by the US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) targeting Binance and founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ). ASIC also mentioned other regulatory warnings from around the world addressing Binance. Announced at the end of last month, the CFTC claims that Binance and Zhao chose to “knowingly disregard applicable provisions of the CEA while engaging in a calculated strategy of regulatory arbitrage to their commercial benefit.” alleging “numerous violations” to the law. Binance was described as an “intentionally opaque common enterprise.”
The decision by Binance to request revocation of its license is reflective of its opinion that cancellation was inevitable. This also is emblematic of the tightening regulatory vice that Binance, and other crypto trading platforms, are experiencing following a disastrous year of failures and frauds for the nascent digital asset industry.