According to Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority, Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange globally, has been found to provide services from non-European economic area countries.
The regulator stated that individuals and companies operating in Belgium, but not belonging to the European economic area, are prohibited from offering exchange services between virtual currencies and legal currencies, as well as custody wallet services.
An order for Binance
Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has reportedly issued an order for Binance, the leading cryptocurrency exchange, to halt all virtual currency services within the country.
According to the regulator’s statement, the FSMA alleged that Binance was providing exchange services between virtual currencies and legal currencies, as well as custody wallet services, from non-European economic area (EEA) countries.
The FSMA’s directive requires Binance to immediately cease offering or providing any such services in Belgium.
The regulator emphasized that individuals and firms governed by Belgian laws, who are not members of the EEA, are prohibited from engaging in the provision of exchange services involving virtual currencies and legal currencies, as well as custody wallet services.
Non-compliance with these regulations may result in criminal sanctions, as stated by the FSMA.
Tigher regulation comes after, Johan Van Overtveldt, a member of the European Parliament and former finance minister of Belgium, has stirred controversy with a tweet calling for an E.U.-wide ban on cryptocurrencies.
Taking to Twitter on March 17, Van Overtveldt cited the ongoing turbulence in the banking sector as a reason to enforce a strict prohibition on digital currencies, arguing that they offer no economic or social value.
Mounting regulatory challenges
Binance, the prominent cryptocurrency exchange, is facing mounting regulatory challenges as it confronts allegations from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding potential securities law violations.
The exchange’s troubles further escalated with the revelation of an ongoing investigation by French authorities.
Amidst these legal battles, Binance has made the decision to withdraw its services from markets within the European economic area (EEA), including the Netherlands and Cyprus, citing regulatory issues as the primary reason for its departure.
The intensified scrutiny surrounding Binance has put the exchange under the spotlight, raising concerns about its compliance with securities regulations and its ability to navigate the complex landscape of international financial regulations.
The SEC’s allegations have underscored the need for Binance to address potential legal violations and cooperate with regulatory authorities in order to regain trust and maintain its position in the competitive cryptocurrency market.