Under the spotlight, Binance suspends SEPA deposits

7 Jul 2021

Image: © sharafmaksumov/Stock.adobe.com

One of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges has faced a wave of actions by regulators in recent weeks.

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has temporarily suspended deposits using Europe’s SEPA network.

SEPA, the Single Euro Payments Area, is a common network for making euro payments. The network allows services including crypto exchanges like Binance to offer payments services to users that are buying cryptocurrency.

Binance told users in an email that “due to events beyond our control” it would be suspending users making deposits to their Binance accounts through SEPA.

“Any deposits attempted via SEPA in the meantime will be returned within seven working days. SEPA withdrawals are unaffected by this suspension,” the company said.

Binance has attracted a lot of regulatory attention of late. Last week it was ordered to cease operations in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority, which said that the company did not have the regulatory clearances to offer services in the country. This followed a similar dressing down by Canadian officials in Ontario.

Since then, Binance has faced a wave of scrutiny. It was hit with a criminal complaint by authorities in Thailand that said it was operating without a licence, while in Italy a group of investors have filed a class-action lawsuit against the exchange to recover losses stemming from a recent outage.

Today (7 July), Binance chief executive Changpeng Zhao published a letter online in response to some of the challenges it has faced recently.

“Clarifying and building the first set of standards is critical for the industry’s continued growth. And Binance wants to be a positive contributor,” he said.

In the letter, he said that Binance is growing its international compliance team and building localised business and operations teams to meet local regulations head on.

“Binance has grown very quickly and we haven’t always got everything exactly right, but we are learning and improving every day.”

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin