Belgian financial regulator orders Binance to cease all virtual currency services

FSMA Commands Binance to Discontinue Crypto Services in Belgium

The FSMA of Belgium has commanded major crypto exchange Binance to discontinue providing crypto exchange and custody wallet services.

In a notice dated June 23rd, the FSMA declared that Binance was in breach of Belgian anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) laws by providing crypto-related services from countries outside the European Economic Area. The financial regulator demanded that Binance immediately cease all such services in Belgium.

According to the FSMA, Binance was controlling around 19 companies located outside of the European Economic Area, such as EU nations, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, that were involved in its operations or technical support but were not specified in the terms and conditions Belgian users accepted when registering for services. The regulator mentioned that it had requested information from Binance, but the answers they received were not sufficient to identify the services those companies offered.

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The FSMA stated that, despite the chances presented to Binance, it has yet to show, with appropriate evidence and paperwork, that its exchange services between virtual and legal currencies, as well as its custody wallet services operating in Belgium, are carried out by a legal entity regulated by the law of another European Economic Area member state that is licensed by its home country to conduct these activities in Belgium.

As part of the ruling, Binance must contact all its customers based in Belgium and return any crypto and private keys that the exchange was holding. The FSMA is just one of the national regulators that are taking action against Binance, with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission bringing a lawsuit against the exchange and its U.S. entity for suspected violations of securities laws.

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