Cryptocurrency portal Binance takes stock of exits from Netherlands, Canada – remains committed to EU presence

Binance in its latest statement reaffirms commitment to stay the course in the EU, which has added more regulatory oversight of the crypto industry.
Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: The cryptocurrency trading platform Binance insists it will stay invested in the EU markets – even after making an exit from the Netherlands.

“Binance is already compliant with EU standards on the prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism as evidenced by its registrations in other EU countries – France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden and Lithuania,” said a statement issued by the company, which finds itself in the eye of a storm over regulator investigations at its US operations.

“Binance continues to be committed to working collaboratively with regulators around the world and additionally focused on getting our business ready to be fully compliant with the new EU rules on crypto-assets (MiCAR).”

The EU is bringing in more stringency over Bitcoin and other crypto-asset trades, setting up what is becoming a seminal phase for these virtual assets. In the US, the regulator, SEC, has investigations running on Coinbase as well as Binance.US.

A halt to Dutch trades

On the exit from the Netherlands, Binance said: “No new users residing in the Netherlands will be accepted. Starting from 17 July, 2023, existing Dutch resident users will only be able to withdraw their assets from the Binance platform.

“No further purchases, trades or deposits will be possible. We encourage those users to take appropriate action by withdrawing assets from their accounts.

“Binance has been in a comprehensive registration application process as a virtual asset service provider (VASP) with the Dutch regulator. Although Binance explored many alternative avenues to service Dutch residents in compliance with Dutch regulations, unfortunately this has not resulted in a VASP registration in the Netherlands at this time.”

Bitcoin – currently at $26,433 – and other main-line cryptocurrecies have been in retreat in recent weeks after the SEC moves in the US. So far, though, there hasn’t been any signs of extreme stress filtering through.

French regulators

As to its operations in France, “on-site visits by regulators and inspectors are part of regulatory obligations to which all financial institutions must adhere. We had an on-site visit last week by the relevant authorities. Binance, as always, was fully collaborative and we met our obligations accordingly.

“We continue to work closely with regulators and law enforcement agencies on all ongoing compliance requirements to uphold high standards.

“Binance invests considerable time and resources into cooperating with law enforcement globally. We abide by all laws in France, just as we do in every other market we operate.

“We will not comment on the specifics of law enforcement or regulatory investigations except to say that information about our users is held securely and only provided to government officials upon receipt of documented appropriate justification.”

Moving on from Canada

Even as the SEC investigations continue in the US, Binance has pulled the plug in Canada.

“We are announcing that Binance will be joining other prominent crypto businesses in proactively withdrawing from the Canadian marketplace,” the statement said.

“Albeit a small market, it held sentimental value for us as the home country of our founder. We had high hopes for the rest of the Canadian blockchain industry. Unfortunately, new guidance related to stablecoins and investor limits provided to crypto exchanges makes the Canada market no longer tenable for Binance at this time.

“We put off this decision as long as we could to explore other reasonable avenues to protect our Canadian users, but it has become apparent that there are none.”

Still hoping for a return

“Our remaining Canadian users are receiving an email with comprehensive information on how this will impact their accounts going forward,” the Binance statement added. “While we do not agree with the new guidance, we hope to continue to engage with Canadian regulators aimed at a thoughtful, comprehensive regulatory framework. We are confident that we will someday return to the market when Canadian users once again have the freedom to access a broader suite of digital assets.”