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Cryptocurrency Exchange Binance to Stop Support for Stock Tokens

Binance Holdings Ltd. is phasing out support for stock tokens just a few months after the cryptocurrency exchange started to offer the product.

The products, which were launched in April and are issued and sold by CM-Equity AG, are tokenized version of stock like Apple Inc., Tesla Inc. and Coinbase Global Inc. Hong Kong’s Securities and futures Commission said Friday that it considers the tokens securities and that no Binance affiliates are licensed or registered to conduct “regulated activity” in Hong Kong.

Stock tokens attracted concerns almost immediately. A report just a couple of weeks after the launch from CoinDesk noted that regulators in places like the U.K. and Hong Kong had already been examining the offerings.

“We will be winding down support for stock tokens on Binance.com to shift our commercial focus to other product offerings,” Binance said in a blog post Friday. “Effective immediately, stock tokens are unavailable for purchase on Binance.com, and Binance.com will no longer support any stock tokens” after Oct. 14.

Binance, the biggest crypto exchange by reported turnover, has had a difficult few months on the regulatory front. Several U.S. agencies are probing the company, Bloomberg News has reported. The U.K. recently issued restrictions on an affiliate, and Thailand filed a criminal complaint against the firm for operating without a license.

Binance users who currently hold stock tokens may sell or hold them over the next 90 days, the blog post said.

Source: Bloomberg