Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, has announced that it is suspending sterling deposits and withdrawals, following a halt to dollar transfers last month, according to a spokesperson for the company.
Paysafe, which facilitates sterling transfers for Binance, notified the company that it would end its services on May 22, affecting all of Binance's customers. The halt on sterling transfers for new users began on Monday, but Binance has assured those impacted that they will still be able to access their GBP balances.
The spokesperson claimed that the change would impact less than 1% of Binance's users, and that the company was working to find an alternative solution for sterling transfers.
Binance has not disclosed how many customers will be affected by the cessation of sterling transfers, but it comes as the exchange faces increasing obstacles in accessing traditional currencies.
The US Department of Justice is investigating Binance for alleged money laundering and sanctions violations, while the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering action against the company for its stablecoin, BUSD. Furthermore, the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warned consumers in June 2021 that Binance lacked "any form" of permission to offer regulated services in the UK.
The importance of sterling funding to Binance is unclear, as the company does not publish its finances. The exchange has more than 128 million customers, and the majority of its business is conducted on its hidden Binance.com exchange.
Meanwhile, the payments service used by Binance, Skrill, has cited the "challenging" regulatory environment in the UK as its reason for withdrawing its support for sterling transfers.
Binance has said that it is seeking an alternative solution for sterling transfers, but it remains to be seen whether the company will be successful in finding a new partner. The suspension of sterling transfers represents the latest challenge to Binance's access to traditional currencies, and comes amid growing scrutiny of the cryptocurrency industry by regulatory bodies.