Coinbase disagrees with almost $4M fine from Dutch central bank

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Dutch central bank De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has announced a €3,325,000 ($3.6 million) fine imposed on crypto exchange Coinbase for operating unregistered in the Netherlands for two years, resulting in what the DNB called “very severe” non-compliance with the law.

A Coinbase spokesperson told Decrypt the company disagreed with the fine because the registration process took two years. “[Coinbase] should not be penalized for playing by the rules and engaging in this process,” they said.

Coinbase avoided paying any supervisory fees to DNB by operating unregistered between November 15, 2020 and August 24, 2022, resulting in a “competitive advantage” for the global crypto exchange. This, combined with the fact that Coinbase served a “significant” amount of customers in the Netherlands over a long time period, has resulted in DNB hiking up its fine to $3.6 million.

“The base amount in this [non-compliance] fine category is €2 million, with a minimum amount of €0 and a maximum amount of €4 million,” DNB stated. “The base amount has been increased due to the severity and degree of culpability of the non-compliance.”

Coinbase did manage to shave 5% off the fine because it “had always intended to obtain registration,” DNB added.

In late September 2022, the global crypto exchange finally registered with DNB.

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Edit 13:40 UTC, Feb 23: Changed link in second para to point to correct Coinbase-related story.