Earlier this summer, Binance was required to wind down operations in Belgium due to a warning from the FMSA, the country’s principal financial regulator.
Previous Dispute With Regulator
The FMSA’s warning was, according to the regulator, wholly unrelated to the legal dispute currently underway across the pond.
Instead, the watchdog expressed concern over Binance’s practice of offering exchange services and hosting wallets in non-EEA countries – which opens the door to money laundering and other illicit activities,
“Firms governed by the law of a country that is not a member of the European Economic Area are prohibited from offering or providing, within Belgium, by way of professional activity, […] exchange services between virtual currencies and legal currencies or custody wallet services. Failure to comply with this prohibition is subject to criminal sanctions pursuant to Article 136 of the Belgian Law on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.”
As a result, the FMSA ordered Binance to immediately halt operations in Belgium and to turn over all relevant cryptographic keys to local entities and customers.
In order to continue providing services to Belgian users who wished to continue doing business with Binance, the exchange directed its customers to its Polish entity, which is fully registered with local authorities.
Exchange Now Deemed Compliant
However, this will no longer be necessary, as Binance has received the green light to operate within Belgium again.
The Belgian branch of the exchange will now accept new user sign-ups and offer most services to clients who’ve agreed to the latest Terms of Service.
It’s unclear exactly what changes were made to Binance Belgium’s ToS and internal workings in order to ensure compliance with Belgian authorities.
Fortunately, a preliminary glance at the Belgian portal shows no major differences. It is highly likely that the main changes to the back end simply ensured custody of assets wholly within the EU. The platform’s reactivation is still underway, as some users have reported issues with the website due to geo-location.
Although Binance has won a small victory by convincing local EU regulators of its compliance, the firm still faces an uphill battle in U.S. courts, where Binance U.S. and its CEO have been accused of improper conduct.
Binance U.S. has already sought to dismiss all charges and is prepared for a long and arduous fight.