South Africans warned against buying Bitcoin from the biggest exchange in the world

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) warns the public to be cautious and vigilant when dealing with Binance Group.

In a statement issued on Friday, the FSCA said that Binance is not authorised to give any financial advice or render intermediary services in South Africa.

“The FSCA received information that Binance Group, an international company situated in the Seychelles, has a Telegram group that members of the South African public can join to gain access to their cryptocurrency exchange platform,” the FSCA said.

Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by trading volume, according to tracking services CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko.

Users can trade cryptocurrency with the platform through its website. It also offers PC and smartphones apps.

MyBroadband asked the FSCA if it was aware that Binance is the largest centralised cryptocurrency exchange in the world, but it did not respond by the time of publication.

“The FSCA would like caution that in addition to this entity not being authorised to provide any financial services or business, crypto-related investments are currently not regulated by the FSCA or any other body in South Africa,” the regulator stated.

“As a result, if something goes wrong, you’re unlikely to get your money back and will have no recourse against anyone.”

The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) recently made it more difficult for South Africans to use Binance by blocking the use of credit or debit cards to buy cryptocurrency from offshore exchanges.

Clients of Absa and FNB have reported that they can no longer use their credit cards on Binance.

South Africa is just one of several countries from which Binance is receiving increased regulatory scrutiny.

In June, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority issued a consumer warning against Binance Markets Ltd., forcing the company to remove all advertising and financial promotions from the country.

It must also reportedly display a notice on its website warning UK residents that it is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK.

Binance has also drawn scrutiny from regulators in the United States, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, and Singapore.

Singapore was the latest setback in a series of regulatory hits for Binance.

Bloomberg reported that Binance was ordered this week to stop offering services regulated in Singapore after a potential breach of local payment rules.

Binance is the biggest centralised cryptocurrency exchange in the world by a significant margin.

According to CoinGecko, which offers a ranking of the top cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance’s 24-hour trading volume is more than five times greater than its next nearest rival, Coinbase.

Binance is also one of several exchanges that CoinGecko has given a perfect trust score of 10.

Other exchanges that have a perfect trust score include Coinbase, Kraken, and the Winklevoss-owned Gemini.

Bittrex, which has a stake in South African cryptocurrency exchange VALR, also has a perfect trust score.

Now read: Bitcoin crackdown in South Africa — what you should know

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South Africans warned against buying Bitcoin from the biggest exchange in the world