Binance comes under fire in yet another jurisdiction.
A storm is brewing for Binance, the largest global cryptocurrency exchange in terms of daily trading volumes, as it reportedly faces an ongoing investigation in France.
Le Monde, a well-known French daily news outlet, unveiled that the French wing of Binance has been on the receiving end of an initial probe, which has been taking place since February 2022.
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This revelation indicated that the Paris-centered specialized interregional jurisdiction was conducting the investigation under the oversight of the Judicial Investigation Service of Finance.
The grounds for the investigation reportedly lie in accusations of illegal acts tied to Binance’s alleged role as a service provider on digital assets (PSAN) without proper authorization, coupled with alleged participation in complex money laundering schemes.
In particular, these accusations involve allegations of Binance facilitating investments and other transactions that effectively concealed the profits of illicit activities.
Binance is allegedly falling short in adhering to Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, which are designed to keep tabs on users and thwart potential money laundering operations.
In response to these allegations, a spokesperson from Binance stated:
Binance invests considerable time and resources into cooperating with law enforcement globally. We abide by all laws in France, just as we do in every other market we operate.
Binance’s spokesperson declined to comment on the particular case. However, the representative asserted that “information about our users is held securely and only provided to government officials upon receipt of documented appropriate justification.”
It’s noteworthy that since 2019, it’s been mandatory for crypto exchanges to receive the nod of the Financial Markets Authority (AMF) to conduct operations. Binance, which set up shop in France in 2020, purportedly only garnered approval from the AMF in May 2022, nearly two years after initiating its operations.
This news about the French investigation arrives hot on the heels of a separate legal issue for Binance in the United States. Recent weeks have seen Binance’s US subsidiary, Binance.US, and CEO Changpeng Zhao hit with 13 charges by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
On top of that, the crypto exchange is closing its operations in the Netherlands and Cyprus.
With each new development, it becomes clearer that global financial regulatory bodies are tightening their grip on digital asset exchanges, bringing a new era of scrutiny and transparency to the world of cryptocurrency.
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