UPDATE 1-Binance stops selling stock tokens after regulatory scrutiny – Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) -Binance stated on Friday it had stopped selling digital tokens connected to shares, as Hong Kongs financial watchdog became the current in a string of regulators to punish the cryptocurrency exchange platforms “stock tokens” offerings.FILE PHOTO: Representations of cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, DogeCoin, Ripple, and Litecoin are seen in front of a shown Binance logo design in this illustration taken, June 28, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File PhotoStock tokens are digital versions of equities pegged to the worth of the appropriate share. They are normally purchased and sold in fractional units, unlike traditional equities.” Effective immediately, stock tokens are unavailable for purchase on Binance.com,” the exchange stated here on its website, adding it would stop all support for the items in October.Global examination of the cryptocurrency sector has grown in the middle of concerns over lax customer security and making use of digital coins for money laundering, with authorities in current months zeroing in on Binance, among the worlds biggest platforms.Hong Kongs Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said here after Binances move that the exchange was not licensed to carry out regulated activities in the city. Using stock tokens to the Hong Kong public without authorisation might be an offense it included.” Any person who contravenes a relevant provision may be prosecuted and, if convicted, subject to criminal sanctions,” the SFC said.A Binance representative declined to comment on the SFCs relocation, which came a day after Italian regulators made a comparable announcement.Binance does not currently have exchange operations in Hong Kong and takes its legal commitments seriously, the spokesperson added.It was not instantly clear whether worldwide regulators have collaborated their relocations, which have produced unprecedented worldwide pressure on a significant cryptocurrency firm.Binance, the worlds greatest exchange by spot trading volumes last month, provides a wide variety of services to users, from cryptocurrency area and derivatives trading to digital wallets and stock tokens.It was providing tokens for business consisting of Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Tesla Inc.Later on Friday, Lithuanias central bank said it had cautioned Binance about its “unlicensed investment services”. Customers run the risk of losing all their investments on crypto-asset associated services, it stated here.GLOBAL CRACKDOWNRegulators in Britain, Germany, Japan and some other countries have actually stepped up warnings over Binance, with the United States likewise apparently investigating the exchange.Italys market guard dog on Thursday stated Binance was not authorised to supply financial investment services and activities in the nation. Its site has used details in Italian on items including stock tokens.Britains Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which last month stated Binance could not perform regulated activities, decreased to discuss whether it had been in contact with other regulators.The FCA regularly shares and complies information with regulators worldwide on a series of issues, a spokesperson said.BaFin, the German regulator, stated in April that Binance risked being fined for using stock tokens without releasing a financier prospectus.Binance users holding stock tokens can sell or hold them over the next 90 days, the exchange said, however will no longer be able to offer or close positions after Oct. 14.” We think that shifting our industrial focus to other product offerings will much better serve our users, and we are devoted to making this transition as uncomplicated as possible for those affected,” a Binance representative said.Reporting by Tom Wilson; Editing by Rachel Armstrong, John Stonestreet and Catherine Evans