UK Financial Marketing Laws: OKX and Binance Compliance

Prominent cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance, OKX, and MoonPay have announced their commitment to adhere to the United Kingdom’s recently enacted regulations governing financial promotions in the cryptocurrency sector.

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ushered in the country’s novel Financial Promotions (FinProm) Regime on October 8th, with the aim of ensuring fairness, transparency, and integrity in cryptocurrency promotions.

On October 6th, Binance unveiled a dedicated domain for its U.K. user base and formed a partnership with the local peer-to-peer lending platform Rebuildingsociety.

In alignment with these compliance updates, starting from October 8th, Binance’s U.K. retail users will be redirected to a localized domain, exclusively showcasing Binance products and services that align with U.K. regulations. These offerings encompass spot and margin trading, Binance Pay, its nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace, loans, and more.

However, in accordance with the new FCA rules, Binance will discontinue certain offerings, such as gift cards, referral bonuses, academy courses, and research materials, as indicated in the announcement.

It’s essential to note that these changes solely affect retail users in the U.K., with exceptions granted to users falling under the new FinProm rules, including specific institutional and professional investors.

On October 6th, OKX also released a statement regarding its compliance with FinProm. The exchange reduced its token offerings to approximately 40 assets and introduced prominent risk warnings on its interface. One such warning prominently appears at the top of OKX’s main page, urging investors to take a few moments to understand the risks associated with cryptocurrency investments. The warning emphasizes, “Invest with caution, as cryptocurrency investments are inherently high-risk.”

Moreover, OKX has launched a dedicated U.K. account on X (formerly Twitter) and committed to showcasing products and services in compliance with the new U.K. regulations on this social media platform.

MoonPay, a cryptocurrency payment service, is another industry player diligently working to align with the new FinProm rules. According to MoonPay’s deputy general counsel, Matt Sullivan, the primary challenge lies in achieving compliance with these regulations while operating on a global scale.

Sullivan stated, “Navigating compliance with the FinProm rules necessitates localized product updates, the implementation of new processes and policies, as well as widespread education throughout the company. There might be an adjustment period, and initial interpretations of specific rules may evolve over time.”

Notably, some cryptocurrency firms have faced challenges in conforming to the new promotional regulations in the United Kingdom. Official statements from the FCA on October 8th highlighted that major cryptocurrency exchanges like KuCoin and HTX (formerly Huobi) might have been promoting their services without proper authorization. These firms were among 143 entities categorized as “non-authorized firms” prohibited from operating in the United Kingdom. The warning list provides minimal information beyond the cautionary statement, “Exercise caution when dealing with these firms.”

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