Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, continues to skirt disaster this week but remains on shaky ground. In June, the exchange was instructed to leave Belgium after being found incompatible with local regulations. Today (29 August), it announced that it has set up a Polish entity to serve Belgian clients.

Given that the company is currently also facing an investigation in France over money laundering and had to leave the Dutch market earlier this year over regulatory complaints, the longevity of this arrangement is uncertain.

At the same time, it has announced that it may leave the Russian market in light of a US Department of Justice investigation into its dealings in the country, though it has begun by removing sanctioned Russian banks from its peer-to-peer escrow service. As Colin Wo, a crypto-focused reporter has noted, this may have major impacts on the company.

Regulation is a key concern for fintech companies, GlobalData research shows. Mentions of regulation in fintech company filings increased by over 350% between 2018 and 2022, and mentions of the Securities and Exchange Commission (which is also investigating Binance) grew nearly 800% in the same period.

In its 2022 end-of-year report, Binance claimed to have “Crypto’s best security and compliance team,” and that “strong regulatory compliance and unwavering commitment to protecting our users are core parts of Binance’s culture”.

Separately, the company’s ties to traditional payment and banking systems are faltering once again, as Mastercard announced its intention to end the pair’s crypto card partnership in South America and the Middle East. The card allows users to pay for physical items using their crypto wallets.

Mastercard maintains partnerships with other cryptocurrency companies, including Swiss exchange Nexo, which allows users to access up to 90% of their total asset value on credit “in seconds”.

Last week (22 August) Binance responded to the loss of dollar liquidity by teaming up with another crypto firm, MoonPay. Through a somewhat convoluted process, US customers are now able to avoid the problem caused by traditional banking partners cutting ties with the firm.

It remains to be seen if this series of fixes will keep the embattled firm stable in the long term.

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