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The Dutch central bank (DNB) on Monday said it had fined Binance, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, EUR 3.3 million (roughly Rs. 26 crore) for offering services in the Netherlands without being registered in the country.

The fine was issued against Binance in April 2022, following a public warning issued against Binance in August 2021, DNB said. The bank said in a statement that Binance in June had indicated it would appeal.

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The DNB said Binance had been in violation of Dutch money-laundering laws and had enjoyed a competitive advantage against companies that do have a DNB registration during the period it was in non-compliance – between at least May 2020 and December 1, 2021.

A spokesperson for Binance said in an emailed reaction the fine marked a “pivot in our ongoing collaboration” with the DNB.

The spokesperson said the company has since set up a local company branch, Binance Nederland BV.

“With this now behind us, we can continue pursuing a more traditional operating model in the Netherlands,” they said.

The DNB said it has not yet approved Binance’s registration but it had lessened the fine it had originally intended by 5 percent because the company has “been relatively transparent about its operations throughout the process”.

Binance said it had received regulatory approvals in European countries including France, Italy and Spain.

The Binance spokesperson and a spokesperson for the DNB did not answer questions about where Binance is based.

According to Dutch Chamber of Commerce filings, Binance Nederland BV was established in October 2021 and has been owned by Binance Of Ireland since December 24, 2021.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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