The Dutch Central Bank has fined crypto exchange Binance $3.3 million for offering its services without the necessary permission.
The central bank released a statement saying the exchange had breached its rules by offering crypto services in the Netherlands without a legally required registration with the bank, which is prohibited.
Last Aug, the central bank issued a public warning regarding Binance, calling its offerings “illegal.”
The regulator emphasized that the basic amount of the fine had been increased due to the “increased seriousness and culpability.” However, it said the fact the exchange had now applied for regulation weighed in its favor, reducing the total fine payable.
The censure from the Dutch watchdog demonstrates division among European financial regulators on their approach to the exchange.
In the U.K., the Financial Conduct Authority said it did not consider Binance to be capable of being supervised, warning its “complex and high-risk financial products” posed “a significant risk to consumers.”
Binance is the largest provider of crypto services worldwide, with a daily trading volume of over $13.7 billion and a large number of customers in the Netherlands.
A spokesperson for Binance told Reuters that the fine marked a “pivot in our ongoing collaboration” with the Dutch regulator. The bank said that while it has not yet approved the exchange’s registration, it had lessened the fine it had originally intended by 5% because the company has “been relatively transparent about its operations throughout the process.”
Binance Europe expansion plans
Meanwhile, countries like Spain, France, and Italy recently gave a go-ahead to Binance to operate. However, the European Parliament and EU states’ recently decided to tighten crypto rules with the new Markets in Crypto-assets (MiCA) law adding obstacles to the expansion plans of exchanges.
According to Dutch Chamber of Commerce filings, Binance Nederland BV was established in Oct 2021 and has been owned by Binance Holdings of Ireland since Dec 24 2021.
The exchange said it would appeal against the fine.
BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.