In a strategic move, Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, is steadily disengaging from the European market. Recently, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom announced that Binance had voluntarily canceled its license to operate within the country.
The FCA, in its June 7, 2023 update, stated the following:
Binance Markets Limited formally requested the cancellation of its FCA permissions, a request that was successfully processed on May 30, 2023. As a result, Binance is no longer authorized by the FCA. None of the entities within the Binance Group possess any form of UK authorization or registration to conduct regulated business in the country.
Binance's Relationship with the UK Regulator Binance's interaction with the UK regulator has been riddled with challenges. Since 2021, the government entity has issued multiple warnings advising UK citizens against trading on the platform.
At that time, when Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market experienced a surge, there was a significant demand for exposure to digital assets. It was during this period that the FCA cautioned its citizens regarding Binance's operation without a license while offering cryptocurrencies.
Subsequently, after the UK regulator imposed certain requirements on Binance to continue its operations within the country, the government entity confirmed, "The firm has complied with all aspects of the requirements." Consequently, Binance finally obtained its license on May 30th, 2023.
However, less than a month after acquiring the license, the crypto exchange unexpectedly canceled it. Last week, Binance withdrew from the Netherlands due to mounting regulatory pressure imposed by financial authorities worldwide.
Refused in NL
The Netherlands refused to grant Binance a license to operate within its jurisdiction, which compelled the company to exit the market. In an official statement, Binance expressed the following:
Binance will persevere in its pursuit of authorizations to provide our products and services to users in the Netherlands.
The company further highlighted its compliance with EU standards for anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing, evident through its registration in other EU countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden, and Lithuania.
The latter part of the statement appears to be aimed at reassuring Binance's European user base. Despite concerns regarding the company's potential departure from the region, Binance emphasizes its commitment to collaborating with regulators and maintaining operations in countries where it already possesses a license.