- Binance on Friday said it will wind down support for so-called stock tokens and shift its commercial focus to other product offerings.
- On the same day, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission said that Binance is not licensed to conduct “regulated activity.”
- The Hong Kong development follows other regulators in Italy, Thailand, Japan, Germany, and the US clamping down on the firm.
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Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, said it will no longer offer so-called stock tokens just three months after launching the digital shares. The products are tokenized versions of popular stocks, and closely track their performance.
Support for these tokens will officially end on October 14, and users who currently hold them have 90 days to sell, the company said.
“Today, we are announcing that we will be winding down support for stock tokens on Binance.com to shift our commercial focus to other product offerings,” the company said in a statement Friday. “Effective immediately, stock tokens are unavailable for purchase on Binance.com.”
Also on Friday, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission announced that no entity in the Binance group is licensed or registered to offer these products. The agency said that since stock tokens are considered securities, the transaction of them is a “regulated activity” requiring a license that Binance doesn’t have.
“Investors are urged to be extremely careful if they plan to invest in Stock Tokens offered on unregulated platforms,” the markets watchdog said in a statement.
It has been a tough few months for Binance as it faces heightened government scrutiny throughout the world. Hong Kong’s warning follows other regulators in Italy, Thailand, Japan, Germany, and the US clamping down on the firm.
Binance has long touted its decentralized operations, which is why CEO Changpeng Zhao says it has no headquarters.