London-based credit card payment processor Checkout.com has severed ties with Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, according to a spokesperson. The termination, which came through two letters sent earlier this month, was revealed in a report from Forbes and later confirmed by TechCrunch.
Checkout.com, valued at $40 billion as of January 2022, cited concerns stemming from “reports of regulators actions and orders in relevant jurisdictions” as well as “inquiries from partners” as reasons for the termination. The letters also highlighted worries over Binance’s alleged issues with anti-money laundering, sanctions, and compliance controls.
In a response to the termination, Binance expressed disagreement with Checkout.com’s claims and is currently “considering our options for legal action,” the spokesperson said. Despite the ongoing challenges, Binance remains “committed to continuing to collaborate with regulators and partners around the world.”
This split follows a series of regulatory challenges faced by Binance. Only a few months ago, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed 13 charges against Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, over allegations of misleading regulators about its operations and other securities violations. In another development, Binance recently announced the shutdown of its crypto payment service, Bifinity, and the disabling of its Binance Connect service.
Binance’s challenges are not limited to the U.S. The exchange has faced a series of setbacks in Europe, with the termination of its partnership with Euro payment partner Paysafe. Germany’s financial regulator, BaFin, also declined to grant Binance a crypto custody license, compounding its difficulties in the European market.
In June, Binance.US, the American subsidiary of Binance, transitioned to a “crypto-only” mode after banking partners suspended their services, a move prompted by the SEC lawsuit against the exchange for allegations of securities law breaches.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly weighing criminal charges against Binance but remains cautious due to fears of potential market panic, reminiscent of the collapse of another crypto platform, FTX.
As regulatory scrutiny intensifies, the ongoing challenges underscore the urgent need for clear and consistent regulations in the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency industry.