Binance France induces users to convert their fiat into crypto
Following the expiration of its partnership with Paysafe, Binance France urged its customers to convert their fiat currency holdings on the platform into cryptocurrencies.
On September 26, a spokesperson for Binance France confirmed to the French radio station BFM that the company is currently advising users to convert their fiat balances into cryptocurrencies for free as a proactive measure. Users have reported that a pop-up window suggesting the conversion of fiat balances into crypto appears automatically when they open the mobile application.
According to its latest audited report, Binance France holds around €1 billion in client crypto assets and retains 7 million USDT on its own account.
The partnership with Paysafe, which provided infrastructure for euro deposits and withdrawals via SEPA bank transfers, ended on September 25. Although the partnership’s conclusion was announced in late June, Binance France has not yet secured a new partner for these services.
Binance’s European operations have been in trouble since its banking partner, Paysafe Payment Solutions, decided to withdraw its support for global exchange. NYSE-listed Paysafe, a retail payment processor, announced that starting from September 25, 2023, it will no longer facilitate euro-denominated transfers to and from Binance.
As a result of this development, Binance will no longer be able to utilize Paysafe’s embedded wallet solution within the European Economic Area (EEA). The decision by the London-based payments firm comes amidst increased regulatory scrutiny on Binance, with a focus on combating money laundering activities.
Although Binance plans to find an alternative provider, for the time being, all other methods of depositing and withdrawing fiat currencies, as well as cryptocurrency trading on Binance.com, will remain unaffected.
Some Binance customers in the European Union (EU) were already facing issues with withdrawing euros from the platform ahead of the planned termination of support by Paysafe. Binance users reported in August an abrupt suspension of Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) transfers for EUR payments. This halt came about a month earlier than the initially announced deadline.
Binance France holds a digital asset service provider registration, which enables its Paris-based business to offer trading and custody services for cryptocurrencies on its platform. It was supposed to boost Binance’s ambitions in Europe after it has been on shaky ground, with regulators in the UK and elsewhere putting the exchange under intense scrutiny.
Binance’s operations in France are reportedly under investigation by the country’s regulators under the jurisdiction of the specialized interregional jurisdiction of Paris (JIRS). French prosecutors have opened a probe into operating its crypto business before it received regulatory approval in 2022, as well as implementing poor money laundering checks.