De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has fined cryptocurrency exchange Binance 3.3 million euros ($3.35 million) for offering services in the Netherlands without the appropriate license.
In a statement released on Monday, the regulator said that violations committed by Binance are punishable by a third category fine, meaning that the administrative fine has a base amount of €2 million ($2.03 million).
For Binance, this base amount was, however, increased, with DNB citing several reasons for such a decision.
One of the reasons, according to DNB, is that Binance is not only the largest provider of crypto services worldwide but also has a very large number of customers in the country.
Boete voor Binance Holdings Ltd. vanwege het zonder de wettelijk vereiste registratie aanbieden van cryptodiensten https://t.co/O5rhRsBoau
— De Nederlandsche Bank (@DNB_NL) July 18, 2022
“In addition, Binance enjoyed a competitive advantage because it did not pay any levies to DNB and did not incur any other costs related to ongoing supervision by DNB,” reads a translated version of the statement.
The Dutch Central Bank has required virtual asset service providers (VASPs) to be registered under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act since May 21, 2020.
The regulator said Binance had been in violation of the registration rules from May 21, 2020, until at least December 1, 2021, when DNB completed its investigation into the matter.
According to DNB, this is another important reason for the increased fine as it considers these violations to be very serious.
Binance objects to the fine
DNB warned Binance of operating in the Netherlands without the required legal registration in August 2021, saying that violating the legislation “may increase the risk of customers becoming involved in money laundering or terrorist financing.”
In today’s statement, the regulator, however, said that it has moderated the fine by 5%, in part because Binance has already submitted a registration application—which is currently being assessed—and because the exchange has been “relatively transparent about its operations throughout the process.”
DNB added that the fine was imposed on April 25, with Binance objecting to it on June 2.
Besides today's news, the crypto exchange has been making steady inroads in Europe
Last week, Binance announced that its Spanish subsidiary, Moon Tech Spain, was registered with the Bank of Spain as a VASP.
In May this year, both France and Italy also licensed the crypto exchange as an official digital asset provider.