Bloomberg Línea — Cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance has announced that one of its products will cease to operate in Latin America: Binance Card, the company’s debit card.
“Users of this product will have until September 21, 2023, date on which the card will no longer be available for use,” said official sources at the company, adding that Binance accounts around the world will not be affected.
“Where available, users can also buy with crypto and send crypto using Binance Pay, a contactless, borderless and secure cryptocurrency payment technology designed by Binance”, the company said.
The Middle East, also affected by the decision
“Binance Card will no longer be available to users in Latin America and the Middle East. The product, like most debit cards, has been used by Binance users to pay for basic daily expenses, but in this case, the cards are funded with cryptocurrencies. Only a small portion of our users (less than 1% of users in the markets mentioned) are affected by this,” the company said, from which it is clear that Latin America will not be the only area affected by the decision.
End of the alliance with Mastercard and Visa
As reported by Bloomberg, Mastercard Inc. and Visa Inc. withdrew from their card partnerships with Binance Holdings, distancing themselves from the cryptocurrency platform that is under threat from regulators around the world.
Visa stopped issuing new co-branded cards with Binance in Europe as of July, a Binance spokesperson said. Mastercard Inc. meanwhile, will end its partnership with Binance in September.
Mastercard declined to explain the reasons for its decision. Visa did not respond to Bloomberg’s requests for comment.
Binance has come under heavy scrutiny from financial watchdogs around the world, intensifying pressure amid a crackdown on the industry after a series of explosions and scandals in the past year.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission sued the company and its CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, for violating securities rules and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for circumventing rules to allow US users access to the exchange. The company has disputed the allegations.
According to Bloomberg, the moves by Visa and Mastercard are the latest blow to Binance’s efforts to enter the mainstream market, and come as it finds itself increasingly isolated from the traditional financial system.