Binance Resumes Mastercard Payments Amid Regulatory Challenges

According to a X post, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has reenabled the ability for its users to purchase cryptocurrencies using Mastercard. This decision comes after a pause in the service in August 2023 due to legal challenges in the United States.

The reinstated service allows Binance users to make purchases using Mastercard with limits of up to 5,000 euros per transaction for euro-based purchases and up to $20,000 for USD-based transactions. This development signals a potential easing of Binance’s regulatory troubles, as it continues to enhance its compliance and operational frameworks.

In recent years, Binance has faced intense regulatory pressure from various U.S. agencies. In June 2023, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed 13 charges against Binance, accusing the exchange of misappropriating customer funds and conducting unregistered securities offerings. This legal action followed a lawsuit by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which accused Binance of failing to register with the agency and violating numerous guidelines.

These legal challenges led to significant operational disruptions for Binance. In December 2023, the exchange had to shut down its Visa debit card services in the European Economic Area (EEA). The Binance Visa debit card allowed users to convert cryptocurrency in their accounts into local currencies for purchases in stores and online. This service cessation came shortly after the exchange’s euro deposits and withdrawals were restored following the termination of a partnership with payments processor Paysafe.

While Mastercard has reenabled crypto purchases on Binance, the payment giant has emphasized the importance of continuous monitoring. Mastercard’s spokesperson told CoinDesk that the status of the service is contingent on ongoing reviews to ensure compliance with regulatory standards.

Looking ahead, Binance plans to add more regulated fiat payment providers to make cryptocurrency purchases more intuitive and accessible. Additionally, there are plans to reintroduce withdrawal services via Mastercard, although no specific timeline has been provided.

Amid these operational changes, Binance has also been addressing its regulatory challenges through settlements. In a notable development, Binance agreed to pay one of the largest criminal fines in history, amounting to $4.3 billion, to resolve charges of violating Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws. As part of this settlement, Binance’s founder, Changpeng Zhao, stepped down from his role as CEO and began serving a four-month prison sentence related to money laundering charges.

These settlements and leadership changes reflect Binance’s efforts to comply with regulatory requirements and restore its reputation in the global financial markets. Zhao, also known as “CZ,” is expected to continue his activities in the crypto space after his release.