Binance Holdings has been fined more than €3 million for operating in the Netherlands without registering with the Dutch Central Bank (DNB).
Dutch law states that any organization wanting to offer crypto-related services in the country must first sign up to the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act (Wwft) that came into effect in August 2008.
However, despite being warned about the rules by the DNB back in 2021, the Cayman-registered company failed to get in line and, as a result, has been told to cough up €3,325,000.
The fine, which was imposed back in April, is particularly stiff. Indeed, the most Binance could have been fined was €4 million. This, says the DNB, is because the firm profited so handsomely from the violation.
As reported by the bank, Binance “enjoyed a competitive advantage because it has not paid any levies to DNB and has not had to incur other costs in connection with ongoing supervision.”
Not only that, the DNB claims that the longevity of the offense also had a bearing on its decision. It says Binance was in breach of regulations from May 21, 2020, when registration was made mandatory, to December 1, 2021, when it concluded its investigation.
Binance gets fine reduced for finally playing ball
But it’s not all bad news for Binance. Dutch officials have agreed to ‘moderate’ the fine imposed on the company by 5%.
This is because, says the bank, the company has been “relatively transparent” throughout the investigation and has, at long last, filed a registration application.
Speaking after the ruling, a Binance spokesperson said:
“Today’s decision marks a long-awaited pivot in our ongoing collaboration with the Dutch Central Bank.”
“While we do not share the same view on every aspect of the decision, we deeply respect the authority and professionalism of Dutch regulators to enforce regulations as they see fit,” (via CNBC).
Binance has, in recent months, been on something of a charm offensive.
The previously shadowy organization, famous for its CEO’s refusal to specify exactly where its headquarters are, has moved to straighten up and fly right where regulations are concerned.
For the record, Binance objected to the DNB’s fine back in June.