Cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced Friday some changes to its offerings in South Africa. Noting that it “constantly evaluates its product and service offerings to comply with local regulations,” Binance said it will “cease offering” futures, options, margin, and leveraged tokens products to South African users. The company added:
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“With immediate effect, South African users will be restricted from opening new accounts for these products. Users will have 90 days to reduce and close their positions for these products.”
The exchange continued, “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.” Furthermore, “Users will no longer be able to manually reduce or close their positions after 6th January 2022 11:59 PM (UTC). Thereafter all remaining open positions will be closed.”
This announcement followed a warning issued in early September by South Africa’s financial regulator, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).
The FSCA warned the public that Binance Group was not authorized to give any financial advice or render any intermediary services in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS Act) in South Africa. Following the FSCA’s notice, Binance issued a statement claiming that “Binance.com does not provide financial advice or render any intermediary services.”
Regulators in many jurisdictions worldwide have been heavily scrutinizing Binance, including those in the U.K., Netherlands, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Lithuania, Italy, and Canada. U.S. authorities are also investigating Binance for possible market manipulation and insider trading.