The Binance logo is shown on a screen in San Anselmo, California, on June 6, 2023.
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Cryptocurrency exchange Binance said it will exit the Netherlands after the company’s application to register under the Dutch cryptocurrency authorization regime was rejected.
Referring to virtual asset service provider Binance, it said on Friday that it could no longer serve Dutch clients “because we could not register as a VASP with the Dutch regulator”.
The company did not give a reason why it was unable to obtain a license from regulators.
As of Friday, no new Binance users will be accepted onto the platform. As of July 17, Binance said it will stop allowing users to buy tokens, trade or make deposits, although the withdrawal feature remains active.
Binance recommended that users withdraw their assets from their accounts.
The Dutch central bank, which is responsible for approving new virtual asset service providers, was not immediately available for comment.
Under the current regulatory regime, Binance can only obtain permission to operate in an EU country by registering under its anti-money laundering rules.
The company has so far received such approvals in France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden and Lithuania. This is set to change once the EU approves its Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation.
MiCA aims to harmonize crypto regulation across the bloc and prevent bad actors from harming consumers, especially in the wake of FTX’s shock bankruptcy in November.
Once MiCA comes into force, crypto firms registered in one EU country will be able to use it to offer their services in other member states.
Binance said it remains “committed to working with regulators around the world, and is also focused on making sure our business is ready to be fully compliant with MiCA.”
“Existing Dutch residents are being sent emails with comprehensive information about what this means for their accounts and any assets they currently hold on the Binance platform, along with any steps they will need to take,” a Binance spokesperson told CNBC.
“While Binance is disappointed that this has become necessary, it will continue to engage productively and transparently with Dutch regulators.”
The latest blow to the crypto giant follows a tumultuous few months for the broader cryptocurrency industry. Last week, the US Securities and Exchange Commission sued Binance and CEO Changpeng Zhao, who claimed to have engaged in an unregistered offering and sale of securities and commingled investors’ funds with their own.