Tokenized stocks, or digital assets pegged to the price of company shares, are no longer available for purchase on Binance.com. Offerings had included Tesla, Apple, and Coinbase shares, which Binance claims were fully backed through shares held by its partner, German-based investment firm CM-Equity AG.
Support for stock tokens was first made available on Binance.com in April, 2021, which was enabled through a partnership with Digital Assets AG, a firm focused on issuing tokenized financial products.
“Today, we are announcing that we will be winding down support for stock tokens on Binance.com to shift our commercial focus to other product offerings,” the announcement reads.
Although the exact reason for the about-face is unclear, Binance’s reversal on tokenized stocks comes as financial regulators around the world are putting pressure on the firm. Officials in Germany, Thailand, Japan, Canada, and the United Kingdom have all issued warnings about the exchange over recent months, the firm has been dropped by the payments processor Clear Junction, and certain banking relationships in Europe and around the world are coming into question. More broadly, it raises doubts about Binance’s hyper growth strategy of rapidly launching new products around the world such as debit cards and derivatives products.
Users currently holding stock tokens have 90 days to sell their shares. Clients in the European Economic Area and Switzerland have the option to transfer their holdings to a new digital asset platform from CM-Equity AG. After October 14, 2021 they will not be able to manually sell or close their positions on the Binance site.