Bitcoin Sold at Discount of $6,000 in Australia as Binance Loses Banking Partner
The Australian clientele of Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in Dubai, are exhibiting a high level of anxiety to withdraw their funds after the exchange lost its banking partners earlier this month. As a result, they are willing to accept a reduction of $6000 to liquidate their bitcoin holdings. As a result of fraud concerns raised by its banking partner Cuscal, Binance has announced the cessation of all Australian dollar withdrawals, effective Wednesday. Additionally, the largest Australian bank, Westpac, has prohibited customers from transmitting funds to the exchange.
Binance has duly notified its Australian clientele of one million members that their residual Australian dollar balances will be converted to USDT, a form of cryptocurrency that is pegged to the US dollar, on Wednesday. Binance has decided against employing its proprietary stablecoin, BUSD, which is backed by the US dollar, due to the termination of the partnership between the issuer and Binance in February. According to a Binance spokeswoman, the team is currently engaged in efforts to secure a substitute service provider that will enable the continued provision of deposit and withdrawal services denominated in Australian dollars.
Rather than opting for direct transfer of digital assets to another cryptocurrency exchange through blockchain, a considerable number of Australian investors have chosen to liquidate their crypto holdings on the Binance platform. This has led to a downward trend in the prices of these assets. On Tuesday morning, Binance offered a bitcoin for roughly $36,000, whereas BTC Markets, Independent Reserve, and Bitpay were vending it for approximately $42,000. On Friday, the spread attained a peak of $14,000, while on Monday evening, it was at $9,000.
Binance has faced a more demanding operational landscape in Australia this year. Following an investigation into the operations of the Dubai-based exchange, Binance Australia’s derivatives license was revoked by Australian regulators last month.
The Chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Joe Longo, has suggested that ASIC may have additional interactions in store following Binance’s request to revoke its license. Earlier this year, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission initiated legal action against Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, who is primarily located in Dubai.
According to the regulatory agency, Mr. Zhao and another executive were involved in operating an unauthorized exchange and a fraudulent compliance program. The legal action further asserts that Binance intentionally circumvented US regulations by actively seeking out American clients for its derivatives operations.
Swyftx, a cryptocurrency broker headquartered in Brisbane, has traditionally depended on Binance to provide the bulk of its liquidity for its customer base of 600,000. Notwithstanding, a representative from Swyftx has affirmed that Binance’s incapacity to execute withdrawals in Australian dollars would not hinder the operations of the firm. As per his statement, the customers made deposits in Australian dollars to the broker, who then converted them into US dollars and subsequently utilized Binance’s international services to exchange them for bitcoin, rather than relying on its local services.
According to the spokesperson, they had provided an entry point in Australian dollars prior to the entry of Binance Australia into the market, and they intend to maintain this practice.
Independent Reserve, a domestic cryptocurrency exchange, sources its liquidity from its proprietary platform, which facilitates direct connections between merchants, rather than procuring assets from a third-party. Binance is currently facing regulatory challenges on a global scale. Earlier this month, it became necessary to halt operations in Canada due to the issuance of a set of fresh regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges by the country. These regulations included investor limits and registration requirements.
Despite Binance’s status as the leading exchange, regulatory bodies worldwide have subjected the entire industry to intense scrutiny, particularly following the downfall of Binance’s competitor, FTX, in November. This event triggered a decline in the value of digital currencies. Over the past year, the industry’s market value has declined by over $1 trillion. As a result, legislators and securities regulators are calling for more stringent disclosure guidelines regarding the operational and fund-holding practices of cryptocurrency companies.