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Debit cards for users in Latin America and the Middle East will be discontinued by Binance

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    Binance is ending its cryptocurrency-backed debit card in Latin America and the Middle East.

    The decision, the latest in a series of pullbacks by the crypto giant, was announced on Twitter Thursday (Aug. 24) by the Binance Help Desk.

    Hello there,
    The Binance Card will no longer be available to users in Latin America and the Middle East. The product, like most debit cards, has been utilized by Binance’s users to pay for basic daily expenses but in this case, the cards are funded with crypto assets. Only a tiny…

    — Binance Customer Support (@BinanceHelpDesk) August 23, 2023

    “The product, like most debit cards, has been utilized by Binance’s users to pay for basic daily expenses, but in this case, the cards are funded with crypto assets,” the post said. “Only a tiny portion of our users (less than 1% of users in the markets mentioned) are impacted by this.”

    Users have until Sept. 21 to continue using the card, the company added, saying that Binance accounts around the world are not affected.

    The company did not give a reason for its decision. Binance has not replied to PYMNTS’ request for comment.

    While the decision may only affect a small number of Binance customers, it follows a string of similar moves by Binance in recent months as it — and the crypto industry — faces growing scrutiny from regulators.

    Last week, the company announced the closure of Binance Connect, a regulated crypto arm of its exchange, as it moves to focus more on its core efforts.

    Binance came into 2023 flying high, PYMNTS wrote at the time, with the crypto market booming and the collapse of FTX — its largest rival — making it the sole king of the digital asset mountain.

    “Rather than being able to capitalize on FTX’s collapse and win market share, Binance’s own borderless crypto empire instead became the target of regulators around the world who feared its business model similarities to FTX could be obscuring similar questionable practices,” the Aug. 17 report said.

    Among those regulators was the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which filed 13 charges against Binance and founder Changpeng Zhao in June, accusing them of a variety of securities law violations that amounted to “an extensive web of deception.”

    The company has been accused of illegally serving American customers, inappropriately controlling user assets, and flouting compliance and anti-money laundering standards.

    Meanwhile, Binance has asked for court protection against requests from the SEC that the company said are too broad.

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    See More In: Binance, Bitcoin, Blockchain, cryptocurrency, debit, EMEA, international, Latin America, Middle East, News, PYMNTS News, What's Hot


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