Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is encountering mounting pressure in Europe.
Binance facing a lawsuit from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the exchange is struggling to obtain licenses in various European countries. While Binance holds Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) licenses in France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden, and Lithuania, its expansion efforts have hit a roadblock in Austria.
According to a report from Finance Forward, the exchange has withdrawn its license application with the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA). The withdrawal reportedly occurred some time ago, with the authority exerting undisclosed pressure behind the scenes. Both the FMA and Binance declined to comment on the matter publicly.
Binance’s European Expansion Hits Regulatory Snags
Binance had previously announced plans to expand into Austria and established Binance Austria GmbH last spring, but the failure to obtain the license means that its expansion in Austria has been unsuccessful.
This setback in Austria adds to a series of recent challenges for the exchange in Europe. The exchange has withdrawn from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Cyprus within the span of a month due to regulatory issues.
However, the withdrawal of the license application in Austria does not impact existing customers in the country. Had the license been granted, the exchange would have been able to engage in marketing and advertising activities in Austria.
These regulatory setbacks represent significant defeats for the leading crypto exchange. The exchange has been asked to return all crypto assets or transfer them to a licensed service by the Belgian financial regulator. The exchange canceled its registration with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, and a comparable cancellation took place in Cyprus. In the meanwhile, France is conducting investigations into suspicions of money laundering.
Despite these challenges, the exchange remains resilient and is committed to compliance with new regulations. The exchange has expressed its focus on adhering to the new MiCA regulations in Europe to ensure full compliance with the evolving requirements.
Binance is also grappling with a high turnover of staff within its management team in Europe. Over the past months, several executives, including Michael Wild, Raphael Zakarias, Martin Bruncko, Mike Ringer, Lynn McConnell, Daniel Trinder, and Doron Rozenberg, have departed from their roles at the exchange.
As Binance faces these regulatory and personnel challenges, the price of its native cryptocurrency, BNB, remains at a vulnerable level just above key support at $220.