Binance is exiting the Netherlands because it fails to obtain regulatory approval

The Binance logo is displayed on a screen in San Anselmo, California on June 6, 2023.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced that it will be leaving the Netherlands after the company’s application to register under the Dutch crypto authorization scheme was rejected.

Referring to a virtual asset provider, Binance said on Friday that it can no longer serve Dutch customers “since we were unable to register as a VASP with the Dutch regulator.”

The company didn’t give a reason why it couldn’t get a license from regulators.

As of Friday, new Binance users will no longer be accepted on the platform. Starting July 17, Binance will no longer allow users to purchase tokens, trade, or make deposits, however, the withdrawal feature will remain active.

Binance recommended users to withdraw funds from their accounts.

The Dutch central bank, which is responsible for approving new providers of virtual asset services, was not immediately available for comment.

Under the current regulatory regime, Binance can only obtain permission to operate in an EU country if it registers under its anti-money laundering regulations.

To date, the company has received such permits in France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden and Lithuania. This will change once the EU approves its Crypto Asset Markets Regulation (MiCA).

MiCA aims to harmonize crypto regulation across the bloc and prevent malicious actors from harming consumers, especially after FTX’s shock bust in November.

Once MiCA comes into effect, crypto firms registered in one EU country can use it to offer their services in other member states.

Binance said it remains “committed to working with regulators around the world, in addition to focusing on preparing our organization for full MiCA compliance.”

“Existing Netherlands-based users will receive an email with full information on what this means for their accounts and any assets they currently have on the Binance platform, as well as any steps they need to take,” said a Binance spokesperson to CNBC.

“While Binance is disappointed that this has become necessary, it will continue to work productively and transparently with Dutch regulators.”

The latest hit for the crypto giant follows a turbulent few months for the entire cryptocurrency industry. Last week, the US Securities and Exchange Commission sued Binance and CEO Changpeng Zhao, alleging that they offered and sold securities unregistered and commingled investor funds with their own.

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