The Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has instructed Binance to halt its offerings of cryptocurrency exchange and custody wallet services. The FSMA cited violations of Belgian laws on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism, stating that Binance was providing crypto-related services from countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA). The regulator demanded an immediate cessation of all such services in Belgium.
The FSMA discovered that Binance had control over approximately 19 companies operating outside the EEA, which were involved in its operations or technical support. These companies were not disclosed in the terms and conditions presented to Belgian users when signing up for Binance's services. Despite requesting information from Binance, the FSMA received unsatisfactory answers regarding the nature of these services provided by the companies.
FSMA stated that despite giving Binance opportunities to provide evidence of compliance, the exchange failed to prove that its crypto exchange and custody wallet services in Belgium were being conducted through a legally authorized entity from another European Economic Area (EEA) member state. As a result, the FSMA ordered Binance to return all crypto and private keys held for its Belgian clients and cease all services in the country. Binance expressed disappointment with the decision and stated its intention to review the notice.
This action by the FSMA is part of a larger trend, as Binance faces regulatory scrutiny from various national regulators, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.