Malaysia’s Securities Commission (SC) on Friday publicly reprimanded cryptocurrency exchange Binance for operating illegally in the country. The SC said the platform’s CEO and its business entities that are registered in the United Kingdom, Lithuania, and Singapore must cease operations in the country.
The commission ordered the world’s largest crypto exchange to disable its website and mobile application in Malaysia within 14 business days from July 26. Binance also had to shut down all media and marketing activities, and restrict investors from Malaysia from accessing its Telegram groups.
The SC said on its website that people in Malaysia who have accounts on Binance should “cease trading through its platforms and to withdraw all their investments immediately.”
Last July, the regulator added Binance to its Investor Alert List, which includes companies or individuals that do not abide by its securities law.
Two of Binance’s entities are part of the list, including Binance Market Network and Binance Futures Investment, which the regulator said are “potential clone entities” of the platform. In addition to being accused of operating without approval from the SC, Binance Futures Investment is said to be operating a “fraudulent scheme” that promises returns of up to MYR 6,305 (USD 1,490) with a minimum investment of MYR 250 (USD 60) within nine hours.
“The public is reminded to alert the SC if they come across any suspicious websites or receive any unsolicited phone calls or emails offering investment advice and opportunities, especially those that claim to offer high returns with little or no risks,” the regulator said on its website.
This is the latest episode in an uncoordinated regulatory crackdown across the world against Binance. In early July, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission filed a criminal complaint against Binance for operating a digital asset exchange without a license.
On the day when Malaysia regulator issued its public rebuke, Binance said that it will shut down its futures and derivatives products offerings in Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.
“With immediate effect, users from these countries will not be able to open new futures or derivatives products accounts. With effect from a later date to be announced in a further notice, users from these countries will have 90 days to close their open positions,” the company said in an announcement on its website.
The platform was barred from undertaking any regulated business in the United Kingdom in late June. Japan’s Financial Services Agency warned that Binance was operating in the country without a license, while the United States Department of Justice was reportedly investigating the exchange as it allows users to transact with cryptocurrencies, according to multiple media reports.