Dutch central bank keeps Binance Netherlands’ registration failings confidential upon its exit.
The reason behind Binance’s inability to obtain a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license in the Netherlands is unclear due to the Dutch central bank’s confidentiality requirements under supervisory laws.
Binance announced on June 16 that it would terminate its services in the Netherlands immediately after failing to obtain clearance from De Nederlandse Bank (DNB). As of July 17, Dutch customers will only be able to withdraw assets from the platform, while trading and deposits were stopped on the date of the announcement.
Binance claimed it had undergone a “comprehensive registration application process” to obtain a VASP license in the Netherlands and explored “alternative avenues” to serve Dutch residents in the country. The exchange indicated that it would continue its effort to obtain authorization to provide its services and products in the country.
When asked about the details of Binance’s failed registration, Tobias Oudejans, DNB press officer for supervision, fintech, cryptocurrencies, resolution, and payment systems, stated that the central bank could not provide more information due to the confidentiality requirements of supervisory laws. The DNB supervises 35 VASPs, including Coinbase Custody International, Coinbase Europe, eToro (Europe), BitPay, and Bitstamp.
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The registration requirements for VASPs in the Netherlands align with similar requirements for other financial institutions under the DNB’s supervision, based on the Netherlands Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act. However, the implementation of the European Union’s recently published Markets in Crypto-Assets regulation (MiCA) could provide Binance with an alternative avenue to operate in the Netherlands in 2024 if it has met the necessary requirements in other EU member states.
Binance has already indicated that it is increasing efforts to be fully compliant with the new EU rules set out in MiCA. Binance was fined 3.3 million euros ($3.6 million) by the DNB in July 2022 for operating without clearance in the Netherlands.
Meanwhile, Coinbase received clearance from the DNB in September 2022 as it began exploring expansion into Europe from the United States. The U.S. exchange is currently embroiled in a high-profile legal battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over allegations that it has been operating as an unregistered securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency.