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After being denied a license, cryptocurrency exchange Binance departs the Netherlands

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    Friday, 16 June 2023 - 14:30

    Binance, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange platforms, will no longer be available for trading activities to owners of digital currencies in the Netherlands starting next month. De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) did not grant Binance a license to operate in the country. New users from the Netherlands can no longer register on the platform, and after July 17, users will only be able to withdraw assets from their accounts.

    Last year, Binance was already fined over 3.3 million euros by DNB because due to operating without a legally required registration with the DNB. The central bank pointed out that Binance had a very large number of customers in the Netherlands.

    The million-euro fine imposed on Binance spanned from May 2020, when the registration requirement was introduced, until at least December 2021. DNB, citing legal considerations, refrained from disclosing whether another fine was pending or the reasons behind Binance's non-compliance. "In general, you can impose a fine again in such a case,” a spokesperson said.

    Registration, which some other dozens of crypto providers in the Netherlands have, is crucial notably for combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

    The exchange stated that existing Dutch users will be notified via email with detailed information regarding the impact on their accounts and current assets. Binance advised users to withdraw all their assets from their accounts. While expressing disappointment over the situation, the company said it will maintain a productive and transparent relationship with Dutch regulators.

    Binance remarked that it has acquired licenses in other European Union countries, such as France and Spain. However, the platform has been banned in the United States since 2019, leading to the establishment of Binance.US as a subsidiary to ensure compliance with regulations. Despite this, Binance.US has also faced bans in six states. Earlier this month, the company and its founder Changpeng Zhao came under scrutiny from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The American financial regulator questioned the true independence of Binance.US from its parent company.

    Reporting by ANP


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