Binance fined $3M over illegal operations in the Netherlands

Major global cryptocurrency exchange Binance is facing a penalty in the Netherlands after failing to obtain regulatory approval to operate in the country.

The central bank of the Netherlands (DNB) has fined Binance Holdings 3.3 million euros ($3.3 million) for offering local crypto services without registration with authority. The Dutch central bank officially announced Monday that the regulator imposed the administrative fine in April 2022.

The DNB pointed out that any company offering crypto services in the Netherlands is obliged to register with the central bank in compliance with the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act. The regulator also mentioned that the DNB previously issued a public warning to Binance on Aug. 18, 2021.

According to the announcement, the DNB applied a bigger penalty to Binance due to the platform’s large trading volumes. According to the regulator, Binance had a “very large number of customers in the Netherlands,” while its daily trading volumes amounted to “$13.7 billion.”

The increased penalty was also due to prolonged violations by Binance, the DNB stated. According to the bank, the violations occurred from May 2020 — when the DNB introduced the registration obligation — until the bank closed the investigation in December 2021. “DNB, therefore, considers these violations to be very serious,” the regulator noted.

The central bank also mentioned that Binance submitted an application to register, and the registration process is now being addressed. As the exchange has moved to comply with the law and has been transparent about its business operations, the DNB reduced the total amount of the fine by 5%, the announcement notes.

Related: Binance gets VASP registration for its Spanish subsidiary from the Bank of Spain

A spokesperson for Binance told Cointelegraph that the company reached a critical milestone in meeting Dutch regulatory requirements through a locally established entity, Binance Nederland BV. The event marks a long-awaited pivot in our ongoing collaboration with the Dutch Central Bank as well as the firm’s growing engagement with global regulators, the representative said, adding:

“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. With this now behind us, we can continue pursuing a more traditional operating model in the Netherlands.”

Binance did not directly confirm or deny to Cointelegraph whether the firm has paid the fine so far or not. According to the announcement, Binance objected to the fine on June 2, 2022.

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