• Binance establishes a fiat-to-crypto payment provider and lends to an FCA-regulated custodian

  • Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange, has launched its own fiat-to-crypto payments provider, Bifinity, to assist businesses in becoming “crypto-ready,” according to the company.

    Bifinity, which was founded last year and went live on the market on Monday, supports 50 cryptocurrencies as well as all major payment methods such as Visa and Mastercard. Binance disclosed this on Monday.

    Merchants can utilize Bifinity’s APIs to “make their firm crypto-ready,” allowing them to accept cryptocurrency payments.

    Bifinity also formed a strategic alliance with publicly traded digital asset financial services firm Eqonex (EQOS) and advanced a $36 million convertible loan. Eqonex is the parent company of Digivault, which became the first cryptocurrency custody provider to receive regulatory permission from the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority last year (FCA).

    A convertible loan is one that can be converted into a stake in the borrower under specific conditions. The Binance unit now acquires the authority to nominate Eqonex’s CEO, CFO, and chief legal officer from within Bifinity.

    The FCA has already expressed reservations about Binance. The watchdog published a statement today addressing its collaboration with a company that it oversees.

    “The FCA lacked the authority to assess the fitness and propriety of the new beneficial owners or the change in control prior to the transaction’s completion,” it said.

    “If the FCA is not convinced that the firm or its beneficial owner is fit and appropriate,” it noted, “it may suspend or cancel the registration of a cryptoasset business.” “The FCA also has the authority to suspend or cancel a firm’s cryptoasset registration for a variety of reasons, including failure to comply with duties under the Money Laundering Regulations.”

    However, it is unclear whether the FCA intends to take any further action.

    Binance also stated that effective of 11:00 UTC, it had completely resumed euro and sterling transactions via the Single Euro Payments Area (Sepa) and the United Kingdom’s Faster Payments Service networks. Sepa was suspended in July of last year and began to be reintroduced in January of this year.

    “With the exception of the Netherlands and Switzerland, finance retail users across Europe will be able to make EUR payments directly via SEPA,” the business added. “Corporate account support is not available.”

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