News on crypto regulation: why is Binance considering reducing its presence in much of Europe?
We see that, according to the implications under the new regulations, crypto companies must obtain regulatory approval in a single European Union country in order to operate in all 27 members of the single market.
However, the implementation of MiCA regulations varies among member states, bringing a disparity in regulatory compliance and affecting Binance’s choice to scale back its operations. Let’s look at all the details.
Crypto regulation: why does Binance want to exit European markets?
As anticipated, the impacts of crypto regulation and regulatory challenges seem to suggest that Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, may be considering an exit from Europe.
After surviving the turmoil in the crypto landscape of 2022, the exchange now faces a number of regulatory pressures from different directions, with the United States appearing to be on the path for a hard-hitting move.
Specifically, US authorities are considering possible charges against Binance, with legal challenges from various regulators being directed at the company and its CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao.
There has even been speculation that Binance is considering closing its unit in the United States as an attempt to preserve the integrity of the entire company.
In parallel, rejection by European Union regulators and voluntary withdrawal from several other jurisdictions are painting a picture that suggests Binance may soon find itself with few alternatives in Europe as well.
However, the entry into force of the EU’s new regulation of cryptocurrency markets (MiCA) could change the outlook.
Binance may therefore decide to focus its compliance efforts in a more limited number of countries within the European Union, an approach that, contrary to Warren Buffett‘s investment advice, could prove strategic to the company’s long-term success on the continent.
Binance’s evolutionary strategy in Europe: all the adjustments to regulatory changes
Until now, companies wishing to operate in the European Union had to deal with registering or obtaining licenses in each jurisdiction. However, this procedure will no longer be necessary once MiCA becomes operational, estimated in 12 to 18 months.
Emilien Bernard-Alzias, partner at law firm Simmons & Simmons LLP, had the following to say on the matter:
“It will be sufficient to obtain a license in one Member State, which will act almost as a passport to operate in all 27 EU Member States.”
Binance, like other cryptocurrency exchanges, has narrowly focused on Europe, seeking to secure licenses and registrations in several nations in order to cover a wide range of markets.
However, recent developments, which include a ban in Belgium, the withdrawal from the Netherlands after failing to provide a license, the decision not to register with a regulator in Cyprus, and the withdrawal of applications for regulatory approval in Austria and Germany, appear to have significantly narrowed Binance’s prospects in the European arena.
Binance explained that its withdrawal from Cyprus was planned in anticipation of the implementation of MiCA, while it pledged to focus its energies on fewer European jurisdictions.
Although it withdrew its application for approval in Germany in advance, following reports suggesting the denial of a custody license by the country’s financial regulatory authority, BaFin, Binance reiterated its intention to pursue obtaining a license in Germany.
Currently, Binance is listed as registered with regulators in France, Italy, Lithuania, Spain, Poland and Sweden, according to its website.
Among these countries, the selection of jurisdictions on which Binance will decide to focus its resources in order to comply with MiCA could have considerable relevance.
Indeed, the exchange has emphasized its flexibility in adopting the role of a regulated entity in line with emerging needs.