Binance to End Support for Stock Tokens

Crypto exchange Binance said it is stopping support for purchasing tokens linked to stocks barely three months after starting them.

Binance announced Friday that stock tokens are unavailable for purchase on its website effective immediately, and support for such tokens will end on Oct. 14, with all positions closed the following day.

The embattled crypto exchange said the decision had been made to allow it to focus on other products.

Binance introduced its stock token service in April, allowing customers to buy fractions of shares in companies, starting with Tesla and followed quickly by Coinbase. MicroStrategy, Microsoft and Apple were added shortly after.

It did not take long for regulators to raise their eyebrows, with the financial watchdogs of the U.K. and Germany both expressing concern in the weeks following.

The backlash against Binance has come to a head in recent weeks, with regulatory bodies around the world issuing warnings that the crypto exchange is not licensed to be offering regulated services in their markets, including the U.K. and Japan.

The most recent of these is Hong Kong, whose markets regulator announced today that Binance is not registered to operate in its jurisdiction.

CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao addressed Binance’s woes in an open letter July 7, calling compliance a “journey” and spoke of the need “clearer regulatory frameworks” in response to wider adoption of crypto.

Binance users in the European Economic Area and Switzerland who have bought stock tokens have the option of migrating them to a new platform being built by CM-Equity AG, the German investment firm Binance partnered with in this venture.

The new platform is expected to open several weeks before the October deadline.

Read more: State of Crypto: Binance Is Firmly in the Regulatory Crosshairs