Binance's Belgian Customers Shift to Polish Entity
Binance strategically shifts its Belgian users to its Polish subsidiary amidst regulatory challenges in Belgium
Binance, the world's leading crypto exchange, has recently made headlines with its strategic decision to migrate its Belgian users to its Polish subsidiary. This move is seen as a response to the regulatory challenges posed by the Belgian financial markets watchdog.
Binance's operations in Belgium came under scrutiny when the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) of Belgium ordered the crypto giant to halt its services in the country. The primary concern was that Binance served Belgian users outside the European Economic Area (EEA). The FSMA identified multiple companies, termed as 'Binance operators', that were facilitating Binance's services in Belgium. However, Binance couldn't provide sufficient evidence that most of these operators were located within the EEA and had the legal backing to offer such services in Belgium.
Given the circumstances, the FSMA directed Binance to return all crypto holdings and keys to its Belgian customers. But, in a gesture that offered a way out, the regulator also presented Binance with an option. Binance could transfer its Belgian users to entities that were regulated under the laws of an EEA member state. These entities needed to have the necessary authorization in their home countries to provide crypto exchange and custody services, including in Belgium.
Given the regulatory challenges, Binance announced its decision to migrate its Belgian users to its Polish subsidiary, Binance Poland sp. z o.o. This move ensures that Binance complies with local regulatory requirements in Belgium. The Polish subsidiary is registered as a virtual assets service provider in Poland, allowing it to provide crypto exchange and custodian services.
In a recent statement, the FSMA acknowledged Binance's choice to cater to its Belgian users through its branch in Poland. The regulator stressed that only those users who agree to use Binance Poland should join. Users can switch to another approved branch within the EEA if they choose.
The FSMA pointed out the present rules in Europe. The European Union has introduced the Markets in Crypto-Asset (MiCA), but much of the crypto world still lacks regulation. The main goal is to stop money laundering and funding for terrorism. According to the FSMA, Binance Poland mainly follows the rules from the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive.
Binance's move to follow the Belgian regulator's rules is among many challenges it has faced in Europe. Recently, Binance pulled its license request in Germany and left the Netherlands because of regulatory issues. They even asked to be removed from the registry in Cyprus. All these steps show Binance's continuous work to understand and follow Europe's complex regulations.