Cryptocurrency exchange Binance halts new Hong Kong futures accounts

Binance Holdings Ltd. will no longer allow users from to open new futures accounts.

The largest crypto exchange by reported turnover said in a Twitter post that the move is effective immediately.

“We will be restricting users in respect of derivatives products (including all futures, options, margin products and leveraged tokens) in-line with our commitment to compliance,” Binance said in a post on its website.

With immediate effect, users from cannot open new futures accounts on Binance.

As a market leader, #Binance is the first major crypto exchange to proactively take this action.

— Binance (@binance) August 6, 2021

The former British colony has tightened its oversight on trading and requires all platforms to register with a local watchdog, and be subject to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing rules. They can only serve professional investors, not retail traders, according to a government announcement in late May.

Binance, which has come under scrutiny in recent months from regulators in countries including the U.S., U.K., Malaysia and Thailand, said late last month in a press conference that it’s changing its mindset from that of a tech startup to acting as a financial institution, with all related licensing and compliance procedures in place.

The exchange is going to apply for licenses “everywhere,” Chief Executive Officer Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said at the time.

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