Binance Discontinues Multiple Service Offerings in South Africa

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In Brief
  • For compliance reasons, Binance halts several services in South Africa.

  • All remaining futures positions will be closed after January 6th, 2022.

  • This development falls in line with similar Binance service discontinuations across global markets.

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The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations building standards of transparency.

As Binance falls in line with new global regulations, services offerings in South Africa are the latest discontinuation. 

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In an announcement on their website, Binance revealed the closure of multiple service offerings in their South African market. According to the post, Binance will no longer provide futures, options, margin trading, and leveraged tokens. The decision is immediately applicable for new accounts. 

“With immediate effect, South African users will be restricted from opening new accounts for these products,” the exchange stated.

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Users with existing accounts in those areas have 90 days to close whatever positions remain open. The exchange gives them grace for preventing margin calls and liquidations.  “Users will be able to top-up margin balances to prevent margin calls and liquidations, but they will not be able to increase or open new positions,” the statement read. 

However, after January 6th, 2022 at 11:59 there will be no more manual reductions or closing. Rather the platform will close all remaining open positions. 

This development in South Africa comes after a warning regarding Binance from the South African government issued early last month. The South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority warned consumers over the risks of engagement with the “Binance Group”. 

In August the South African Revenue Service (​​SARS) imposed new taxes on digital assets like cryptocurrencies by up to 45%. 

Binance Compliance 

South Africa is only the latest of many shutdowns from Binance. Early last week, the exchange halted services in Singapore also over compliance issues. Similar to South Africa the shutdown followed a warning from a federal financial regulator in Singapore. 

Moreover, these compliance-related Binance shutdowns come as global regulators push for more comprehensive crypto measures. In each notice of service discontinuation, Binance highlights the company’s welcoming stance on compliance with regulators. 

 “Binance welcomes developments to our industry’s regulatory framework as they pose opportunities for the market players to have greater collaboration with the regulators. We are committed to working constructively in policy-making that seeks to benefit every user.”

In addition to regional shutdowns, Binance recently carried out other compliance-related updates. The exchange introduced new rules for the enhancement of  its Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) efforts. A key component is a multi-step identity verification process. 

Along with protocol updates, Binance hired two former IRS agents to help with its compliance efforts.

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Savannah Fortis is a multimedia journalist covering stories at the intersection culture, international relations, and technology. Through her travels she was introduced to the crypto-community back in 2017 and has been interacting with the space since.

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