Italy has blocked its citizens from accessing the Binance cryptocurrency exchange on all its platforms, according to a statement from the national securities regulator on Thursday.
The statement from the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) made it clear that Italians were not even allowed to use Binance.com.
“It is important that savers are informed that transactions in instruments related to crypto-assets may present risks that are not immediately perceptible, due to their complexity, the high volatility of the prices of these instruments as well as for malfunctions and cyber attacks to which the IT infrastructures used for such operations may be subjected,” the regulator said in a statement.
Italy is one of a number of countries that have taken action to restrict Binance’s activities. Regulators including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority have expressed concern over the volatility of cryptocurrencies generally, as well as the risks to the general public from investing in them, as well as the use of digital tokens in illicit activities.
Binance has also recently received a criminal complaint from Thailand for operating its online services, as well as a warning from Japanese regulators, while Canadian regulators in Ontario have forced the exchange to restrict its operations.
According to a 2020 Statista survey, 48% of Italians said they had used crypto to make online purchases, pointing to the growth in use of digital assets in the country.
“We are aware of the notice from CONSOB and can confirm that Binance.com does not operate out of Italy. This has no direct impact on the services provided on Binance.com,” a spokesperson from Binance told Insider.
“We take a collaborative approach in working with regulators and we take our compliance obligations very seriously. We are actively keeping abreast of changing policies, rules and laws in this new space,” the spokesperson said.
Banning people from using Binance is almost akin to banning trading in crypto, given that it’s the world’s largest crypto exchange in terms of trading volumes. In the last 24 hours, the Binance exchange has seen roughly $14 billion in crypto volume go through, while second-place Coinbase has logged around $1 billion according to data from Coingecko.