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Italy’s regulator warns public on crypto exchange Binance

The country’s securities market regulator said in a statement that the Binance Group is not authorized to operate and provide investment services in Italy.

Rome, Italy / Image by Emphyrio from Pixabay

Thu, 15 Jul 2021, 14:27 pm UTC

The Italian Companies and Exchange Commission (CONSOB) has warned the public on crypto exchange Binance. The country’s securities market regulator said in a statement that the Binance Group is not authorized to operate and provide investment services in Italy.

In a statement posted on its site, the regulator specifically mentioned Binance’s main website in its warning. “Consob warns savers that the companies of the ‘Binance Group’ are not authorized to provide investment services and activities in Italy, not even through the website www.binance.com whose sections called ‘derivatives’ and ‘Stock Token,’ relating to instruments related to crypto-assets,” Consob wrote.

The regulator warned the public to be mindful of the possible implications of Binance’s legal status in the country. As such, investors should exercise “their utmost diligence” when making their investment choices and urged them to verify in advance the website through which they make their investments.

Consob also warned the public to exercise caution when making crypto-related transactions as this could lead to “the total loss of the sums of money invested.” The regulators said that potential investors should only enter into contracts only when they have an adequate understanding of the instruments involved and to verify the identity of the contractual counterparty.

“In any case, it is important that savers are informed that transactions in instruments related to crypto-assets may present risks that are not immediately perceptible, due to their complexity, the high volatility of the prices of these instruments as well as for malfunctions and cyberattacks to which the IT infrastructures used for such operations may be subjected,” Consob added.

Italy is the latest to join the grown number of countries that have issued warnings against Binance. For instance, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ordered the crypto exchange’s U.K. unit to stop all regulated activities in the country.

“Due to the imposition of requirements by the FCA, Binance Markets Limited is not currently permitted to undertake any regulated activities without the prior written consent of the FCA,” U.K.’s regulator said. “No other entity in the Binance Group holds any form of UK authorisation, registration or licence to conduct regulated activity in the UK.”

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission also filed a criminal complaint against the crypto exchange for operating without a license. “Following tips and the SEC’s further inspection, it was found that Binance has provided platform services for trading or exchanging digital assets via its website by matching orders or arranging for the counterparties or providing the system or facilitating entry into an agreement or match the order for persons who wish to trade or exchange digital assets,” the SEC stated.

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