The Belgian financial regulator has issued a directive to Binance, to immediately stop all cryptocurrency services in Belgium. The regulator’s decision came as Binance was unable to provide satisfactory information regarding its non-EEA entities.
The Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has directed the popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance to halt its crypto exchange and custody wallet services.
The FSMA issued a notice on June 23, stating that Binance’s provision of crypto-related services from non-European Economic Area (EEA) countries violates Belgian laws concerning anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT). Accordingly, the financial regulator has mandated Binance to immediately cease all such services in Belgium.
The FSMA stated that Binance had control over approximately 19 companies operating outside the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes EU nations, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. These companies were involved in various aspects of Binance’s operations or technical support.
However, these entities were not mentioned in the terms and conditions that users in Belgium agreed to when signing up for Binance’s services. The FSMA revealed that it had repeatedly requested information from Binance regarding the services offered by these companies but did not receive satisfactory responses.
The FSMA stated that Binance was unable to provide proper documentation and evidence to demonstrate that its exchange services between virtual currencies and legal currencies, as well as its custody wallet services, were being conducted by a legally authorized entity from another member state of the European Economic Area (EEA).
As a result, the FSMA concluded that Binance had failed to meet the requirements of operating within Belgium’s legal framework.
As per the order, Binance will need to reach out to its clients in Belgium and return any cryptocurrencies and private keys that were held by the exchange.
The FSMA’s action against Binance is not an isolated case, as other national regulators are also taking measures. For instance, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a lawsuit against Binance and its U.S. entity, accusing them of violating securities laws. This indicates a broader regulatory scrutiny faced by Binance across multiple jurisdictions.
Important: This article is intended solely for informational purposes. It should not be considered or relied upon as legal, tax, investment, financial, or any other form of advice.
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