Binance to Quit Netherlands After Failing to Acquire License

The crypto exchange's attempt to secure a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license from the Dutch regulator was unsuccessful.

AccessTimeIconJun 16, 2023 at 8:40 a.m. UTC
Updated Jun 16, 2023 at 5:12 p.m. UTC

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is leaving the Netherlands, after failing to persuade the Dutch regulator to issue a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license, which attests that it meets anti-money laundering (AML) guidelines.

As of July 17, Dutch residents will only be able to withdraw their funds from the platform, according to a statement from the exchange.

“We regret to announce that Binance is leaving the Dutch market,” Binance said on its website. “This unfortunately means that no new users residing in the Netherlands will be accepted as of today. Starting from 17 July, 2023, existing Dutch resident users will only be able to withdraw their assets from the Binance platform. No further purchases, trades or deposits will be possible. We encourage those users to take appropriate action by withdrawing assets from their accounts.”

Europe has generally been receptive to crypto exchanges and their anti-money laundering efforts. Binance is already AML compliant in France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden and Lithuania. Two days ago, the exchange said it planned to leave Cyprus to focus on becoming fully compliant with the new European Union rules on crypto-assets (MiCA).

Binance said it has been in a comprehensive registration application process as a virtual asset service provider with the regulator. “Although Binance explored many alternative avenues to service Dutch residents in compliance with Dutch regulations, unfortunately this has not resulted in a VASP registration in the Netherlands at this time.”

The exchange said it will continue to engage with Dutch regulators.

Existing Dutch resident users are being sent an email with comprehensive information about what this means for their accounts and any assets they currently have on the Binance platform, alongside any steps they will need to take.

UPDATE (June 16, 08:50 UTC): Adds fourth paragraph on European Union, Cyprus.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Ian Allison

Ian Allison is an award-winning senior reporter at CoinDesk. He holds ETH.

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