Dutch central bank fines Binance €3.3 million for operating without registration

Quick Take

  • The Dutch central bank has fined cryptocurrency exchange Binance €3.3 million. 
  • It says that the cryptocurrency exchange has been operating in the country without a legally required registration with the central bank authority. 

Binance has been fined €3.3 million ($3.4 million) by the Dutch central bank for offering crypto services without a legally required registration. 

According to a release on Monday, companies that want to offer cryptocurrency services in the Netherlands must register with the central bank under the Money Laundering and Terrorist Finance Prevention Act. It says that these were introduced in May 2020 due to how the anonymity of crypto transactions makes it less easy to monitor transactions by criminals. 

"Binance has a very large number of customers in the Netherlands," the bank, which is known as DNB, said in the statement. "In addition, Binance has enjoyed a competitive advantage because it has not paid any levies to DNB and has not had to incur other costs in connection with ongoing supervision by DNB." 

Previously issuing a public warning on Binance's operations in the country last August, the central bank said it considers these violations by the cryptocurrency exchange to be "very serious". It did say, however, that the authority received a registration application from the cryptocurrency exchange which it is currently assessing.

A Binance representative confirmed that it's currently applying for registration as a crypto service provider through Binance Nederland BV, a locally-established entity. 

“Today’s decision marks a long-awaited pivot in our ongoing collaboration with the Dutch central bank," said a Binance spokesperson when contacted for comment. "While we do not share the same view on every aspect of the decision, we deeply respect the authority and professionalism of Dutch regulators to enforce regulations as they see fit."

This latest fine stands in contrast to the recent licenses to operate Binance has procured in other European countries recently. A Binance representative noted that earlier this month, its Spanish subsidiary was approved to operate in the country. This followed similar rulings by regulators in France and Italy.

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