Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has been shut down in Japan for flouting rules. This confirms recent reports about the impending suspension. The Hong Kong based exchange has been operating in the country without registering as a cryptocurrency trading platform, according to the authorities.
The Financial Services Agency has just confirmed it has issued orders to Binance to suspend services to Japanese citizens immediately. The FSA says the exchange was operating in violation of the fund settlement rules. It has not however confirmed whether it was pressing criminal charges.
Binance’s CEO Changpend Zhao tweeted that his lawyers were trying to find a solution adding that “protecting user interests is our top priority.”
The company intends to seek a license in Japan.
Binance is Moving to Malta
In the meantime, Binance will reportedly open an office in Malta where it will enable fiat-to-crypto transactions. Malta is trying to attract cryptocurrency start ups and the government there has even invited Zhao to review an upcoming bill designed to create a favourable environment for cryptocurrency companies.
The CEO had initially played down initial claims about the impending shut down on Thursday.
He however remained upbeat immediately after the shut down was confirmed.
“No need to worry. Some negative news often turn out to be positive in the long term. Chinese have a proverb for this. New (often better) opportunities always emerge during times of change,” he said in a tweet. He assured users that their funds were safe.
No need to worry. Some negative news often turn out to be positive in the long term. Chinese have a proverb for this. New (often better) opportunities always emerge during times of change.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) March 23, 2018
Several of his Twitter followers expressed support for him.
“I really love Binance and it would be a disaster to don’t be able to trade in the best Exchange in the World. Just keep doing the hard work and we will support you,” one used wrote.
One of the World’s Largest
The exchange was launched in 2017 but has grown rapidly to become one the world’s largest. Binance has a market cap of well over $2B according to CoinMarketCap. The 24 hour trading volume is estimated at more than $1.8 billion.
Binance is a crypto-to-crypto only exchange is hugely popular for its wide variety of coins and fast transaction speeds. Binance is also available in many languages and therefore has more reach. The Japanese market accounts for less than 10% of its traffic.
Lesser known coins usually start their life are usually listed on Binance before making it to other exchanges.
Just last month, another cryptocurrency company, Blockchain Laboratory was issued with similar warnings forcing it to wind down operations in the country.
For more information about Binance, read this review