The details behind Binance’s failed efforts to register for a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license in the Netherlands will remain unclear due to confidentiality requirements of the central bank’s supervisory laws.
Binance announced that it would terminate its services in the Netherlands on June 16 with immediate effect, having failed to get the all clear from De Nedelandsche Bank (DNB). From July 17, Dutch customers will only be able to withdraw assets from the platform, while trading and deposits were stopped on the date of the announcement.
Binance claimed that it had undergone a ‘comprehensive registration application process’ to obtain a VASP license in the Netherlands and had also 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 reached out to Tobias Oudejans, spokesperson for DNB in charge Supervision, Fintech, Cryptos, Resolution and Payment systems to ascertain final details of Binance’s failed registration efforts.
Oudejans said that the central bank could not share more details about Binance’s registration due to legal requirements of supervisory laws:
“Because of confidentiality as demanded by our supervisory laws, we cannot elaborate on anything concerning our supervision on individual institutions or the possible licensing trajectories they may be in.”
Oudejans added that the DNB wanted to stress that its perceived silence over this specific supervisory outcome and similar issues ‘might wrongly be attributed to an unwillingness to comment,’ but was necessitated by Dutch laws.
Binance would have joined a list of 35 VASP that have completed registration with the DNB. This includes the likes of Coinbase Custody International Limited, Coinbase Europe Limited, eToro (Europe) Limited, BitPay and Bitstamp.
Oudejans said VASP registration requirements in the Netherlands are in line with the similar requirements for other types of financial institutions under the DNB’s supervision. These are based on the Netherlands Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act, locally known as the Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme (WWFT).
The implementation of the European Union’s recently published Markets in Crypto-Assets regulation (MiCA) could provide Binance an alternative avenue to operate in the Netherlands come 2024. As Oudejans explained, the global exchange could gain access to the Dutch market if it has met the necessary requirements in other EU member states:
“It is not yet clear in what way MiCA will be implemented in the Netherlands, but indeed it looks like it will be a different law than the WWFT and possibly on 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 ramping up efforts to be fully compliant with the new EU rules set out in MiCAR.
Binance was handed a 3.3 million euro fine ($3.3 mln) by the DNB in July 2022 for operating without clearance in the Netherlands.
Meanwhile Coinbase obtained a green light from the DNB in September 2022 as it began to explore expansion away from the United States and into Europe. The U.S. exchange is embroiled in a high-profile legal battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over allegations that it has been operating as an unregistered securities exchange, broker and clearing agency.