Binance was fined for operating illegally in the Netherlands despite unclear regulations in the country.
Binance, the world’s number one cryptocurrency exchange, was slapped with a 3.3 million euro ($3.4 million) fine from the Dutch central bank on Monday.
The apex bank accused Binance of operating without proper licences in the country. The $3.4 million fine came nearly a year after the De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) warned Binance that it was offering cryptocurrency services in the country without authorisation.
According to the DNB, Binance was dealt with a category 3 fine, which is the harshest of DNB’s three levels of enforcement. The DNB said it imposed the fine due to the gravity and degree of culpability of the non-compliance,
The Dutch central bank added that Binance operated without a licence for a very long time, from May 21, 2020, until at least Dec. 1, 2021. Hence, the reason why the apex bank considers the non-compliance to be very grave.
The DNB added that it considered Binance’s size and the large number of customers it had in the Netherlands before imposing the fine.
However, the DNB added that Binance filed an appeal against the fine early last month. A spokesperson for the crypto exchange said the company is looking to move on from the incident as it works to gain a Dutch licence. The spokesperson said;
“Today’s decision marks a long-awaited pivot in our ongoing collaboration with the Dutch Central Bank. 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 DNB lowered Binance’s fine by 5% because the crypto exchange applied for a licence in the country. Furthermore, the company was relatively transparent about its operations during the process, the DNB added.
The Dutch central bank added that it is still reviewing Binance’s application. Binance has recently secured licences in certain European countries, including France, Italy and Spain.
While crypto companies are required to register with the relevant authorities in Europe, the broader cryptocurrency market is yet to be fully regulated in Europe and most parts of the world.