Binance customers in the UK have been blocked from making cash withdrawals after the cryptocurrency exchange suspended the use of bank cards on its network.
The exchange, which has been blocked from offering regulated services in Britain by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), disabled withdrawals with bank cards overnight, having earlier removed the ability to withdraw money directly to a bank account.
The two withdrawal methods are the main ways to take British pounds out of the service. Customers who came to withdraw funds on Tuesday morning were met with the warning: “This payment channel is closed for maintenance.”
The outage hit customer debit cards, according to screenshots on social media. Card withdrawals had been the remaining route for customers to withdraw funds after the Faster Payments network, which is used by banks to rapidly process money transfers, was also suspended on Binance late last night.
Card withdrawals on Binance are made through the Visa network, an option it added earlier this year. A Binance spokesperson said the outages were temporary. Visa did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, processing $1.5 trillion (£1.1 trillion) in crypto transactions per month with millions of customers.
The City watchdog said at the weekend that Binance’s UK entity as well as its offshore parent did not have permission to carry out “any regulated activity in the UK” in one of the regulator’s biggest crackdowns to date on cryptocurrency companies.
While Binance said the notice did not affect its ability to let British customers buy and sell cryptocurrencies, the suspension of both its bank and card payments systems leave account holders with few options to withdraw cash.
They could still transfer Bitcoins to a different exchange to withdraw them, for example.
From Wednesday evening, Binance will be required to warn UK users on its website and app that it is not authorised to operate in Britain.
Binance has faced regulatory pressure in Japan, Germany and the US as scrutiny of cryptocurrency exchanges grows. Cryptocurrencies can be difficult for law enforcement to trace, making them popular with criminals.
A Binance spokesman said on Monday in response to the FCA notice: “We are aware of recent reports about an FCA notice in relation to Binance Markets Limited. BML is a separate legal entity and does not offer any products or services via the Binance.com website.”