Binance Ends 2021 in Flurry of Regulatory Activity

Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • Binance has ended 2021 on a regulatory see-saw
  • The company was fined by the Turkish financial crimes board for not meeting AML requirements
  • Canada and Bahrain are on the verge of giving it regulatory approval

Binance has experienced a busy end to 2021 on the regulatory front, with three actions taking place in the space of a few days. Things started badly when it was hit with a fine by the Turkish financial crimes board for not meeting its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) obligations, but better news was to come when it was announced that the exchange was on the verge of gaining operational licenses from Bahrain and Canada.

Turkish Financial Crimes Issues Fine Over AML Issues

Binance’s busy regulatory week began on Monday when Turkey’s criminal financial board Mali Suçlar Araştırma Kurulu (MASAK) fined the exchange 8 million Turkish lira (approximately $750,000) after it failed the financial watchdog’s audit for monitoring AML compliance.

Turkey’s AML Law requires companies to identify and verify the personal identification information of the customers on financial platforms, including names, dates of birth, T.C. identification numbers (Turkey’s equivalent of a social security number), details about identity documents. The law also requires businesses to notify the government about suspicious activities within a 10-day period of the event occurring.

The 8 million Lira fine was the maximum that could have been levied at Binance according to the legal structure, which shows how serious Turkish officials believed the crime to be.

Binance Obtains Licenses in Canada and Bahrain

There was better news for Binance on Monday when it obtained a crypto financing license in Canada, incorporating itself as Binance Canada Capital Market. The new subsidiary of the Binance group will handle digital assets, money transfers, and foreign exchange and will also function as a money service business. Registration is expected to be formalized tomorrow.

Similar news came through the wires on Tuesday, with Bloomberg reporting that Binance was on the verge of being awarded regulatory approval by Bahrain to operate in the country. Abdulla Haji, director for licensing at Bahrain’s central bank, told Bloomberg that it was “a matter of formalities” before Binance cleared the final hurdles and became a formally approved cryptocurrency exchange.

2022 Could be the Year of Regulations

Given Binance’s struggles with regulators this year, these two achievements show just how far the company has come since setting its sights on becoming a “fully regulated financial institution” back in May, when it was drawing the ire of mainstream media outlets left, right and center.

We can therefore expect many more such headlines in 2022 as Binance seeks to legitimize itself in the financial space.