Binance, one of the prominent names in the cryptocurrency exchange sphere, has taken a significant step by reopening its exchange services to the crypto community in Belgium. This move comes after a hiatus of approximately three months during which Binance was directed by the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority to cease all cryptocurrency-related services in the country.
The regulatory intervention leading to this temporary cessation of services occurred on June 23, when the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority accused Binance of violating the country’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws. The authority’s allegations were based on the assertion that Binance had been providing cryptocurrency-related services “from countries that are not members of the European Economic Area.” In response to this order, Binance was swiftly required to halt all operations in Belgium and initiate contact with its Belgian-based clients to facilitate the return of all cryptocurrencies and private keys held by the exchange on their behalf.
During this hiatus, Binance adapted by channeling its services for Belgian users through Binance Poland sp. z o.o., a Polish-registered subsidiary that had been registered as a virtual asset service provider in January. However, the specific changes or measures taken to meet the regulatory requirements for resuming services in Belgium have not been disclosed in Binance’s recent statement. To gain further insight into the situation and the regulatory landscape, industry experts have reached out to both Binance and the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority for additional comments and clarifications.
It’s important to note that Binance’s compliance efforts extend beyond Belgium’s borders. In Europe, the exchange has indicated its intention to delist stablecoins for the European market by June 2024, aligning with the upcoming implementation of the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) legislation, which is slated to take effect in the same month. Meanwhile, in the United States, a series of high-level departures from Binance.US has raised questions about the company’s internal dynamics, but Binance’s CEO, Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, has consistently refuted any rumors suggesting internal turmoil.
As the cryptocurrency industry continues to evolve and regulatory scrutiny intensifies, the reopening of Binance’s services in Belgium represents a noteworthy development in the global crypto landscape, leaving observers and market participants keen to monitor further developments in this space.