The Dutch central bank said on Monday that it had fined Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, more than three million euros for violating Dutch business registration law.
“On April 25, the Dutch central bank imposed an administrative fine of 3,325,000 euros ($3,376,000) on Binance Holdings Ltd,” DNB said.
“The fine was issued because Binance was offering crypto services in the Netherlands without registering them with DNB as required by law,” he said.
Binance has since filed for registration and appealed the fine, DNB said.
Companies that offer cryptocurrency services in the Netherlands are required to register their activities under a law aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.
“If there was no registration requirement, it would be more difficult to control the risk of criminal financial movements,” the bank said.
He described Binance’s “breaches” of the law as “very serious”.
In May, Binance obtained approval from the French financial market authority AMF to operate in France.
This is a European first for the company. UK authorities said last year that its activities could not be properly monitored and posed a risk to consumers.
Binance is the largest exchange in the cryptocurrency market. It had $32 trillion in transactions last year and 120 million customers.
Cryptocurrencies operate in a largely unregulated corner of the economy and the value of majors tends to fluctuate wildly.
After a boom during the Covid-19 pandemic, their value has fallen in recent months. No less than two-thirds of the sector’s market value has been wiped out.
Enthusiasts see cryptocurrencies and the technology around them as the foundation for a decentralized alternative to traditional banking and oppose all regulation.
But national authorities are increasingly leaning towards tougher rules and consumer protections, as crypto companies go mainstream with high-profile TV ads and celebrity endorsements.