Details of the failure of Binance’s efforts to obtain a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) licensefor its acronym in English) in the Netherlands remain unclear due to confidentiality requirements of Dutch central bank supervisory laws.
On June 16, Binance announced that it would end its services in the Netherlands with immediate effect, having failed to obtain the go-ahead from De Nederlandse Bank (DNB).. As of July 17, Dutch clients will only be able to withdraw assets from the platform, while operations and deposits were halted at the date of the announcement.
Binance claimed that it had undergone an “extensive registration application process” to obtain a VASP license in the Netherlands and that it had 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..
Cointelegraph contacted Tobias OudejansDNB press officer for supervision, fintech, cryptocurrencies, resolution and payment systems, for the final details of Binance’s failed registration efforts.
Oudejans said the central bank could not share more details about Binance’s registration due to legal requirements under supervisory laws:
“Due to the confidentiality required by our oversight laws, we are unable to elaborate on anything relating to our oversight of individual institutions or the potential licensing trajectories they may find themselves on.”
Oudejans added that the DNB wanted to underline that his perceived silence on this specific supervisory outcome and similar issues “could be wrongly attributed to an unwillingness to comment” but was required by Dutch law.
Binance would have joined a list of 35 VASPs registered in the DNB. These include Coinbase Custody International, Coinbase Europe, eToro (Europe), BitPay, and Bitstamp.
Oudejans said that VASP registration requirements in the Netherlands align with similar requirements for other financial institutions under the supervision of the DNB. These are based on the Dutch Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act.
The application of the recently published European Union regulation Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) – or Regulation of Markets in Crypto-Assets – could offer Binance an alternative route to operate in the Netherlands from 2024. As Oudejans explained, the global exchange could access the Dutch market if it meets the necessary requirements in other EU member states:
“It is not yet clear in which way MiCA will be applied in the Netherlands, but in fact it seems that it will be a different law than the WWFT and possibly at a European level, there may be access to the Dutch market for registered entities from other EU countries. “.
Binance has already indicated that it is stepping up its efforts to fully comply with the new EU rules set out in the MiCA framework..
In July 2022, the DNB fined Binance €3.3 million ($3.6 million) for operating without authorization in the Netherlands.
For his part, Coinbase received the green light from the DNB in September 2022, when it began exploring expansion outside of the United States and into Europe.. The US exchange is embroiled in a high-profile legal battle with the US Securities and Exchange Commission over allegations that it has been operating as an unregistered stock exchange, broker and clearing agency.
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