Binance’s Belgian Customers to Use Polish Entity in Bid to Escape Regulators’ Ban

National financial authority FSMA told the company in June to cease serving Belgian customers from outside the European bloc

AccessTimeIconAug 28, 2023 at 2:36 p.m. UTC
Updated Aug 28, 2023 at 8:28 p.m. UTC

Binance's Belgian customers can continue using the crypto exchange two months after being ordered to cease operations by the country's local regulator.

In June, Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) told Binance, one of the world’s leading crypto exchanges, it had to quit the country, as it was not allowed to serve Belgians from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Belgian customers will now be routed via a Polish entity to escape that effort by regulators to chase the crypto company out of Belgium, the company said on Monday.

Belgian customers will be put into “withdrawals-only” mode if they don’t agree to the terms of use for Binance Poland sp. z o.o., an entity registered within the European Union, and hence in the EEA, the company said in a message to clients which was briefly posted on its website before being amended to exclude the "withdrawals-only" detail.

Consistent EU rules known as the Markets in Crypto Assets regulation (MiCA) will take effect in 2024, but before then many individual EU members have their own rulebooks for the sector. Binance has already left the Netherlands after regulatory problems, and recently withdrew its application for a license in Germany.

In a statement published later Monday, FSMA said there was "no obstacle" to operating via a Polish entity, but stressed the limited powers Polish regulators had over the company. Binance should provide for customers who don't want to transfer to the Polish arm, the regulator said.

UPDATE (Aug. 28, 2023, 16:55 UTC): Adds FSMA statement.

Edited by Nikhilesh De.


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Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.