Crypto exchange Binance says sterling withdrawals reactivated after outage

LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) - Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance said on Wednesday that sterling withdrawals from its platform had been reactivated, with users also able to buy digital coins with debit and credit cards.

Binance customers said on Tuesday they were unable to deposit or withdraw sterling from the platform, days after regulators in Britain cracked down on some of its activities in the country.

Users of the exchange, one of the world’s biggest, said they were unable to withdraw or deposit sterling via the Faster Payments network - which enables mobile, internet and other payments between British bank accounts - or bank cards.

A Binance spokesperson said withdrawals via the Faster Payments network were reactivated on Tuesday, adding that bank card purchases of crypto were again possible.

Many users complained that Binance had given no information about transactions being blocked, beyond a “down for maintenance” message.

Binance had said the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) move would not impact services offered on its website, access to which by British residents was unaffected by the crackdown.

The FCA has told Binance here that by the close of business on Wednesday it must display a notice stating it was not permitted to undertake regulated activities in the UK on its website and social media channels.

While crypto trading is not directly regulated in Britain, offering services such as trading in cryptocurrency derivatives does require authorisation.

The FCA did not respond to a request for comment on what time Binance must comply with the FCA order, or what steps it would take if it did not. A Binance spokesperson did not reply to a request for comment on whether it would comply.

Headed by Canadian Changpeng Zhao, Binance is coming under increasing scrutiny by regulators globally, many of which have voiced concern over the use of cryptocurrencies in general for money laundering and other crimes.

Binance offers services ranging from digital token trading to derivatives, as well as emerging technology such as tokenised versions of stocks. Its own cryptocurrency, Binance Coin, is the world’s fourth-biggest with a market value of around $45 billion. (Reporting by Tom Wilson Editing by Mark Potter)