Bitcoin exchange Binance has closed access to margin trading, leveraged tokens and cryptocurrency derivatives (futures and options) to South African customers. The company attributed the move to a desire to comply with local legislation.
Users were banned from opening new accounts for these products. Customers have been given 90 days to close their positions - they will be automatically liquidated on January 6, 2022.
In early September, the South African Financial Sector Oversight Authority urged investors to be "cautious and vigilant" when dealing with Binance. The agency noted that the company is not authorised to provide financial advice and intermediary services in the country.
The cryptocurrency exchange had earlier imposed restrictions on users from Singapore. In September, MAS put the platform on an "investor warning list".
Over the past few months, financial regulators in several countries, including the UK, Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and several others, have issued warnings to investors regarding the exchange's operations.
Against this backdrop, chief executive Changpeng Zhao published an open letter outlining its plans for regulatory compliance and customer protection.
The CEO of Binance said in September that the exchange would abandon a "decentralised" business model. This form of governance, he said, hinders regulatory approval in jurisdictions with strict licensing regimes.
Speaking to Reuters recently, Zhao said the company would set up a number of headquarters around the world, including in Ireland. Binance registered three subsidiaries in the country in September.
As a reminder, the bitcoin exchange has hired former IRS special agent Tigran Ghambaryan as the company's vice president of global intelligence and investigations.