Binance hardens user verification amid global regulatory scrutiny

    World’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange Binance is rolling out immediate verification requirements for all its users in support of its expanded know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML) policy. Binance will limit services for existing users unless they adhere to the new requirements.

    As the crypto exchange claims, it requires all its users through intermediate verification to further improve its risk management protocols and user protections. This new requirement involves the submission of ID documents and the user’s photo for facial verification.

    “Effective immediately, all new users are required to complete Intermediate Verification to access Binance products and service offerings, including cryptocurrency deposits, trades, and withdrawals,” reads in a statement.

    Binance CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao states the crypto exchange is tightening its verification requirements to improve the platform’s security.

    “Our vision is to create a sustainable ecosystem that is safe for all participants. In the last four years, we have laid the groundwork by investing heavily in security and user protection, supporting law enforcement from around the world with high-profile investigations and helping cybercrime victims recover millions of dollars worth of stolen funds.”

    Now, the basic verification on the Binance portal is estimated to get processed in one day. However, verifying all documents, including government ID, facial verification, and proof of residential address, will require a total of 20 days to review. Users who decline to go through the additional verification steps will only be able to withdraw funds, close positions, cancel orders and redeem tokens.

    Financial regulators across the world recently had targeted major cryptocurrency exchange Binance. Some have banned the platform from certain activities, while others have warned consumers that it was unlicensed to operate. As a remediation of the ongoing scrutiny, the crypto exchange has publicly announced new KYC requirements for all users on the platform.

    For instance, the Dutch central bank on Monday said Binance was not in compliance with the anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws. A string of other regulators – including those in Japan, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, and Malaysia – have also issued warnings against Binance in recent weeks.

    As a result, the platform adjusted the daily withdrawal limit for unverified Binance users to 0.06 Bitcoin (BTC) from the previous limit of 2 BTC.

    Zhao said last month he wanted to improve relations with regulators. By his words, the exchange would seek their approval and establish regional headquarters.

    Binance has also dialed back some of its range of crypto products that regulators may oversee, such as the trading of derivatives by Hong Kong users, saying the move was “in line with our commitment to compliance.”

    Binance also adopted other measures to enhance user protections, including plans to reduce its users’ max leverage from 100x to 20x.

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