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The Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has ordered major cryptocurrency exchange Binance to stop offering cryptocurrency exchange and wallet storage services.
In a June 23 notice, the FSMA said that by offering crypto-related services to Binance “from countries outside the European Economic Area,” the exchange violates Belgian anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-financing terrorism (CFT) laws. The financial regulator said that Binance should immediately stop all related services in Belgium.
According to the FSMA, Binance controlled approximately 19 companies outside the European Economic Area – EU countries, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – involved in its operations or technical support, which did not appear in the conditions that Belgian users read when signing. for services. The regulator said it had made “several requests for information” from Binance but had not received satisfactory responses stating the services provided by its companies.
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“Despite the opportunities offered by Binance on several occasions, the latter has failed to demonstrate with proper documentation and evidence that the exchange services between virtual currencies and legal currencies, as well as the custodial wallet services that it offers and provides in Belgium, are carried out through a legal entity regulated by the laws of another member state of the European Economic Area, which is duly authorized by its home member state to carry out this activity, including in Belgium,” the FSMA said in a statement.
As part of the order, Binance will need to contact all of its clients in Belgium and return all cryptocurrencies and private keys held on the exchange. The FSMA is just one of several national regulators taking action against Binance as the US Securities and Exchange Commission is currently pursuing a lawsuit against the exchange and its US subsidiary for alleged violations of securities laws.
This is an evolving story and more information will be added as it becomes available.