Binance Withdrawal from the Netherlands: The Central Bank Cites Confidential Registration Issues

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Binance made an announcement on June 16 that it would cease its operations in the Netherlands immediately. This decision was made because Binance did not receive approval from De Nederlandse Bank (DNB). Starting July 17, customers from the Netherlands will only be allowed to withdraw their assets from the platform. Trading and deposits on Binance were halted on the day the announcement was made.

Binance stated that it had completed an extensive registration process to acquire a VASP (Virtual Asset Service Provider) license in the Netherlands. Additionally, the company explored different options to cater to the needs of Dutch residents. Despite the termination of services in the country, Binance expressed its commitment to pursuing authorization to offer its services and products in the Netherlands.

Due to the confidentiality obligations set by the supervisory laws of the Dutch central bank, the specific reasons behind the unsuccessful registration attempts of Binance for a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license in the Netherlands are not transparent. The details regarding this matter are unclear and cannot be disclosed publicly.

Cointelegraph contacted Tobias Oudejans, the press officer at De Nederlandse Bank (DNB) responsible for overseeing supervision, fintech, cryptocurrencies, resolution, and payment systems. The purpose was to gather accurate information regarding the specific details of Binance’s unsuccessful registration attempts.

Oudejans said the central bank could not share more details about Binance’s registration due to the legal requirements of supervisory laws.

“Because of confidentiality as demanded by our supervisory laws, we cannot elaborate on anything concerning our supervision of individual institutions or the possible licensing trajectories they may be on.”

Oudejans emphasized that the De Nederlandse Bank (DNB) wanted to clarify that their apparent lack of response regarding the regulatory decision and related matters should not be interpreted as a reluctance to provide comments. The silence was enforced due to legal obligations set by Dutch laws.

Binance would have joined a list of 35 VASPs registered with the DNB. This includes the likes of Coinbase Custody International, Coinbase Europe, eToro (Europe), BitPay, and Bitstamp.

According to Oudejans, the registration criteria for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) in the Netherlands follow the same standards applied to other financial institutions regulated by the Dutch National Bank (DNB). These requirements are based on the Netherlands Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act.

Looking ahead, the introduction of the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) by the European Union presents a potential opportunity for Binance to resume operations in the Netherlands by 2024. Oudejans explained that if Binance meets the necessary requirements in other EU member states, it could gain access to the Dutch market through this framework.

Binance has expressed its commitment to ensuring full compliance with the recently established regulations outlined in the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) framework.

In July 2022, Binance faced a penalty of 3.3 million euros ($3.6 million) from the Dutch National Bank (DNB) for operating in the Netherlands without obtaining the necessary clearance.

On the other hand, Coinbase received approval from the DNB in September 2022, enabling the company to pursue expansion opportunities beyond the United States and into Europe.

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