April 19, 2024
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Binance Faces Crackdown in Belgium as FSMA Demands Service Suspension

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has been directed by the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) to discontinue its crypto exchange and custody wallet services in the nation.

In a notice issued June 23, the FSMA stated that Binance’s offering of crypto-related services “from countries that are not members of the European Economic Area” violated Belgian laws concerning Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism. The FSMA emphasized the immediate cessation of all related services in Belgium.

The FSMA highlighted that Binance exercised control over approximately 19 companies operating outside the European Economic Area, including European Union nations, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. These companies were involved in Binance’s operations or technical support but were not disclosed in the terms and conditions accessible to Belgian users during the sign-up process. Despite multiple information requests, the FSMA did not receive satisfactory responses regarding the services provided by these companies.

According to the FSMA, Binance failed to provide proper documentation and evidence demonstrating that its exchange services between virtual and legal currencies, as well as the custody wallet services offered in Belgium, were conducted by a legally authorized entity from another member state within the European Economic Area, including Belgium.

As part of the order, Binance is obligated to notify its clients based in Belgium and return any crypto assets and private keys held by the exchange. A spokesperson for Binance expressed disappointment with the FSMA’s decision and stated the company’s intention to review the regulator’s notice.

The FSMA’s actions against Binance align with the actions of other national regulators. For instance, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission is currently pursuing a lawsuit against Binance and its US entity, alleging violations of securities laws. Furthermore, in January 2022, Christophe De Beukelaer, a member of the Belgian parliament, announced his intention to receive his government salary in Bitcoin (BTC) for a year.

Image by Marcel Elia from Pixabay

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