Regulatory authority demands immediate suspension of Binance’s operations in Belgium

FSMA takes action against Binance, demanding the immediate cessation of virtual currency services in Belgium due to non-compliance with regulatory provisions.

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The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has issued an order to Binance, a virtual currency service provider, to immediately cease all operations related to virtual currencies in Belgium. The FSMA identified that Binance was offering exchange services between virtual and legal currencies, as well as custody wallet services, from countries outside the European Economic Area, which violates regulations. Failure to comply with this order may lead to criminal sanctions under Belgian law.

Despite requests for information, Binance has failed to demonstrate that the services it offers in Belgium are carried out by legally authorized entities within the European Economic Area, stated the agency. In addition to ceasing activities in Belgium, Binance is required to return cryptographic keys and virtual currencies to Belgian clients or transfer them to authorized entities within the European Economic Area.

The FSMA’s actions aim to protect consumers from illegal activities, while noting that the virtual currency sector remains largely unregulated, except for anti-money laundering and terrorist financing measures. Future EU regulations, such as the MiCA Regulation, will introduce more comprehensive crypto-assets rules. In the absence of specific regulations, common law and relevant provisions of the Belgian Criminal Code apply. It is important to heed the warnings issued by national and European supervisory bodies regarding the risks associated with virtual currencies.