UK Crypto Exchanges Navigate Through New Regulations

Amidst the UK's stringent crypto regulations, exchanges like Binance and OKX adapt to comply, while others face the regulator's warning list.

a small group of people under umbrellas, facing Big Ben

In a move that underscores the global crypto industry's complex dance with regulatory frameworks, major cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and OKX have publicly committed to adhering to the United Kingdom’s newly announced financial promotion rules. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s financial watchdog, rolled out the Financial Promotions (FinProm) Regime on October 8th, aiming to instill a degree of fairness and transparency in crypto promotions, thereby safeguarding the interests of investors and stakeholders alike.

Binance, a name synonymous with the crypto trading world, announced on October 6th that it has not only launched a new domain specifically for UK users but also forged a partnership with the local peer-to-peer lending platform, Rebuildingsociety. In a bid to align with the FCA’s compliance update, Binance’s UK retail users will, from October 8th, be redirected to a localized domain, which will exclusively showcase Binance products and services that adhere to UK regulations. However, the compliance comes at a cost: Binance will discontinue offering several products like gift cards, referral bonuses, and its academy and research to UK retail users.

On a similar note, OKX, another prominent player in the crypto exchange arena, issued a statement regarding FinProm compliance on October 6th. The exchange has scaled down its token offering to approximately 40 assets and has incorporated conspicuous risk warnings on its interface. A stark warning greets visitors at the top of OKX’s main page, urging investors to acquaint themselves with the risks associated with crypto investments and cautioning them to be prepared to lose their entire investment.

However, the path is not smooth for all. The FCA, on October 8th, flagged several crypto exchanges like KuCoin and HTX (formerly Huobi) as “non-authorized firms,” indicating that they might have been promoting their services without the requisite permissions. These firms now find themselves among 143 entities that the FCA advises the public to avoid dealing with.