Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority ordered Binance to cease all offers of virtual currency services in the country — immediately.
“The FSMA has noted that Binance is offering and providing exchange services in Belgium between virtual currencies and legal currencies, as well as custody wallet services, from countries that are not members of the European Economic Area,” the regulator said in a statement on Friday.
"The FSMA has therefore ordered Binance to cease, with immediate effect, offering or providing any and all such services in Belgium," the regulator added.
People and firms governed in Belgium and not a member of the European Economic Area cannot offer exchange services between virtual currencies and legal currencies or custody wallet services, the regulator added. Failing to comply could mean criminal sanctions, FSMA said.
Binance did not dispute regulators findings
FSMA said Binance did not dispute that it offered those services in Belgium.
“There are apparently 27 such companies involved in the operational and/or technical aspects of the provision of these services, of which 19 appear to be based outside the European Economic Area,” FSMA said.
A Binance spokesperson said the exchange was disappointed by the news.
"We are disappointed to learn that the FSMA has come to this decision despite our ongoing conversations. We are reviewing the details of their notice and will continue to work collaboratively with regulators in Belgium and around the world in compliance with our obligations," the spokesperson said.
Binance is also facing heat from regulators in the U.S. Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao for allegedly operating an unregistered exchange and misleading customers.
Updated to add Binance response.
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