Why Binance gives itself the right to freeze or suspend your account at any time

The giant Binance clarified its terms of use for its French customers last June.

Since obtaining PSAN (digital asset service provider) registration in France in early May, Binance has been much more transparent with its French customers.

Those who want to know what their contract with Binance consists of can easily refer to its general conditions of use (CGU), available in French.

A final modification was made on June 17, as can be read here. While it is not possible to know what changes have been made since that date, a Binance spokesperson confirmed to BFM Crypto that the T&Cs were published in French after registration. They are self-explanatory to users.

For example, under the “suspension” section of a user’s account, Binance explains that it can suspend, freeze, or lock a client’s funds for “any reason”, as first stated. noticed the popularizer on cryptocurrencies DocMarmott.

Fight against money laundering

“You agree that Binance France has the right to immediately suspend your Binance Account (and all accounts beneficially owned by related entities or affiliates of Binance for Affected Users), freeze or lock Digital Assets or funds from all such Binance Accounts, and suspend access to Binance France and the French Website and/or App, for any reason, including, but not limited to, if Binance France suspects that such Binance Accounts and their use violate these Terms, the Privacy Policy or any applicable law and regulation (including any law relating to anti-money laundering, anti-terrorist financing, international economic sanctions and embargoes)”, one can read.

The regulatory requirements concerning the implementation of the asset freezing mechanism, which apply, among other things, to registered PSANs as well as to banking players, are specified in the joint guidelines of the General Directorate of the Treasury and the prudential supervision and resolution (ACPR).

Binance can therefore freeze or suspend the accounts of its users in case of suspicion. This provision aims to cover the freezing of accounts “for legal and regulatory reasons”, Binance told BFM Crypto, citing orders for the seizure of assets by the courts, a freezing of assets for reasons of the fight against money laundering and the financing of the terrorism but also “to protect customers, for example in the event of cyberattacks or theft”.

If obligations are incumbent on all PSANs, it is the mention used “for any reason whatsoever” that questions, as DocMarmott points out.

By way of comparison, some PSAN players list more precisely the reasons why they can use these measures.

Paymium may decide to close a customer account and terminate the T&Cs “without having to give reasons, notice, formalities or compensation for the benefit of the customer in the event of violation of these T&Cs, in the event of a court decision compelling him to do so. , events of force majeure, in the event of inappropriate behavior by the customer vis-à-vis the Paymium team or on social networks (slander, defamation, accusation, insults, etc.) or in the event of suspicion of fraud In the latter case, it is the customer’s responsibility to provide proof of his good faith and the absence of fraud. Fraud or non-compliance with these T&Cs may give rise to legal proceedings.” , can we read on its site.

Similarly, the French platform Coinhouse has listed 7 specific reasons (among which again non-compliance with the fight against money laundering) which can push its “compliance and risk management department” to suspend or block a customer account. .

The “suspension” section in Binance’s T&Cs is more similar to the T&Cs of its international competitors, such as the American Coinbase or Kraken.

“You acknowledge that Coinbase’s decision to take certain actions, including limiting access to, suspending, or closing your account for any reason at our sole discretion, may be based on material privacy criteria. to Coinbase’s risk management and security protocols”, can we read in these TOS modified on August 18.

The same goes for Kraken.

“We may, at our discretion and without liability to you, with or without notice, suspend your access to any or all of our Services. We may terminate your access to the Services at our sole discretion, immediately and without notice, and delete or disable your Kraken Account and all associated information and files in that account without liability to you, including, for example, for breach of any of these terms,” ​​its site reads. .

End of certain trading services in France

In addition, since the beginning of August, French Binance customers can no longer use certain trading products, in particular futures, options or leveraged tokens. The company had informed its customers a month before.

“As Binance constantly re-evaluates its product and service offerings to comply with local regulations, we will be making changes to the following products for users residing in France: futures, options, leveraged tokens, binance earn ( double investment)”, detailed Binance.

In its communication, Binance explains that it takes such a measure in order to adapt to French regulations. Indeed, the sale of derivative products (including those with crypto-assets as underlying) requires an authorization as an investment service provider (ISP), which the PSAN registration alone does not allow.

“We are committed to the long-term development of our industry and have always strived to bring new opportunities and innovative products to market. Binance is constantly revising its product offerings and activities, based on demand. of users, evolving regulatory requirements and future opportunities, to determine changes and improvements,” a Binance spokesperson explained when asked what the impact of such a measure is now on its business. .

Binance, which claims 120 million users, does not communicate on its number of French customers.

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