Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has been fined $3.4 million (3.3 million euros) by the Dutch central bank for operating in the Netherlands without registration. The penalty comes after Binance was issued a warning from De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) in August 2021 for offering services in the country without the necessary authorization.
Binance has been fined with a category three fine, the most stringent of the DNB’s three levels of enforcement, and has come with the upper limit of the two to four million euro maximum the bank can impose. It was given the maximum “due to the gravity and degree of the culpability of the non-compliance,” the bank said in a statement. According to the regulator the breach took place over a “prolonged period,” spanning from May 21, 2020, to December 1, 2021. Given the lengthy period of indiscretion, the regulator said, “this is why DNB considers the non-compliance to be very grave.” According to the DNB, the local subsidiary, Binance Nederland BV, offered cryptocurrency trading services without complying with the provisions of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Finance Prevention Act, but the fine was also dealt due to tax defaults, among other violations.
In addition, Binance has enjoyed a competitive advantage because it has not paid any levies to DNB and has not had to incur other costs in connection with ongoing supervision by DNB.
The fine was issued in April 2022 but was only made public recently. Binance filed an appeal against the fine on June 2, 2022.
According to an article published by CNBC, a Binance spokesperson said,
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.
The fine is seen in contradiction with Binance’s recent shift to make peace with regulators around the globe after having mostly operated outside the parameters of the law. The exchange has recently changed its tone to be compliant with regulators, particularly in Europe, where it has secured licenses to operate in France, Spain, and Italy.
The DNB lowered the fine by five percent given that Binance already applied for registration and has been “relatively transparent” regarding its operations during the process. The central bank is still in the process of reviewing Binance’s application.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.
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