Binance Courts German Regulators as Push Into Europe Continues

2 mins
18 May 2022, 20:30 GMT+0000
Updated by Ryan James
18 May 2022, 20:30 GMT+0000
In Brief
  • Binance in talks with German regulators following last year's 'stock token' dispute.
  • Binance continues its push into Europe, following approval from a Paris markets regulator earlier this month.
  • BaFin, Germany's regulator, had previously warned Binance not to offer 'stock tokens' without an investment prospectus.
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Binance seeks to court German financial authorities in a renewed push to establish a presence in the country, following a rebuke from the regulator last year for offering tokens tracking American stocks without an investor prospectus.

Binance, following approval from the French government earlier this month, is looking to get back into the good books of Germany’s financial regulator, BaFin. Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, speaking at the Finance Forward fintech conference in Germany Wednesday, said, “Our team definitely is talking with regulators here and in all of Europe. I have not talked to them myself directly, but based on my secondary feedback from our team, things are going well.” He said that Binance hopes to get a license in Germany according to BaFin rules. However, he was not willing to disclose details of confidential correspondence between Binance and the regulator outside of that.

Continuing G-7 Push

Binance continues its push into G-7 member nations, following approval from a markets regulator in Paris to operate as a digital-asset service provider. “This is a huge step,” Zhao said at the time. Binance had previously obtained licenses to operate in Bahrain, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi. Competitors FTX and Kraken were given the green light in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Zhao announced a $105M investment in the blockchain industry in France, promising to employ 250 people to develop infrastructure.

BaFin issued a warning to Binance

Last year, BaFin issued a warning to Binance after the crypto platform began offering tokens linked to shares of Tesla Inc., MicroStrategy Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Apple Inc. without “publishing an investor prospectus,” which is a disclosure containing the information required by law, written in an easy-to-understand way. Binance intended to offer these tokens to customers outside the U.S., China, and Turkey to “trade equity shares through crypto coins,” using tokens that “represent a share in a stock corporation,” without certain benefits like voting rights. CM-Equity, an investment group that processed the tokens, said that an investment prospectus was unnecessary because the stock tokens could not be transferred to another person as stocks could.

BaFin warned Binance at the time that it could face fines of up to five million euros, or 3% of its annual turnover the previous year.

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