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Binance returns to Italy after getting approval

Binance
TL;DR Breakdown
  • After a year-long prohibition, Italy has given Binance the green light to resume operations.
  • Anti-money laundering methods and a physical presence are among the company’s minimum requirements.
  • More than a dozen other crypto businesses have applied to trade in Italy.

Italy barred Binance from providing services to Italian users in July last year. The exchange could not offer investment services and operations because it had no authorization. Italy also went further to prevent the trader from making its website accessible to Italians.

Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume, is one of 14 virtual asset operators to register with Italy’s Organismo degli Agenti e dei Mediatori (OAM). It’s a body that regulates cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.

The revelation comes just three weeks after the French government approved the company’s plans to expand into the country. Regulators in Italy recently issued requirements for enterprises to register to establish a physical presence and agree to comply with AML standards. 

All of which coincide with the exchange’s registration with Italian regulators. According to Binance, this new registration would allow the exchange to resume selling crypto items and create offices in Italy. Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, said that clear and effective regulation is crucial for the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Tensora, Blockeras, and CryptoSmart are all registered with OAM before Binance’s registration. The exchange is the 13th crypto platform to do so. According to the OAM, 28 other operators have already started the pre-registration process. As of the time of publication, applicants had a 60-day window to submit applications, which cost an estimated $536. Registrations opened on May 16th. Upon approval, registered companies need to submit quarterly reports to the OAM. 

The reports should outline their Italian operations and send a summary of those operations to each client. According to a recent OAM study, 11% of respondents (774 adults, male and female) did not know cryptocurrencies. Also, 64% claimed to have excellent financial understanding and a willingness to invest in cryptocurrencies themselves.

Entering the German market

Following a warning from the German financial authority last year for trading tokens tracking American stocks without an investor prospectus, Binance attempts to develop a German footprint. It comes after the French government gave its blessing earlier this month. A significant goal for Binance is to regain the trust of BaFin, Germany’s financial authority. 

At Wednesday’s Finance Forward Fintech conference in Germany, Zhao said they talked with regulators throughout Europe. He said that he hadn’t spoken to them directly, but things were going well based on information from their staff. Zhao stated that the company intends to get a German BaFin license in an interview. Outside of that, he refused to divulge any information about the exchange’s private correspondence with the regulator.

BaFin warns Binance

BaFin issued a warning to Binance last year after the crypto platform began selling tokens. Bafin linked the tokens to shares of Tesla, MicroStrategy, Microsoft, and Apple without publishing an investor prospectus. 

An ‘investor prospectus’ is a disclosure containing the information required by law, written understandably. Trading equity shares through cryptocurrencies without specific perks like voting rights was Binance’s intention for users outside the United States, China, and Turkey. 

According to CM-Equity, the company that processed the tokens, an investment prospectus was not required. 

Here is why: 

They could not transfer the stock tokens to another person the same way stocks might. In a statement, BaFin warned Binance that it might face fines of up to five million euros or 3% of its annual turnover from the previous year.

The G-7’s effort continues

French market regulators have granted Binance permission to operate as a digital-asset service provider, paving the way for further expansion into G-7 countries. Zhao stated that it was a significant step. 

Bahrain, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi had previously granted Binance permission to operate. Abu Dhabi and Dubai gave FTX and Kraken the go-ahead to compete. 

To develop blockchain infrastructure, Zhao announced a $105 million investment in the French blockchain business, intending to hire 250 workers.

Nellius Irene

Nellius Irene

Nellius Irene is a cryptocurrency investor and journalist who has been in the nascent space since 2018. She has researched and written on several crypto-related topics including non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi), fundraising, mining, etc. Her major focus is covering regulatory events that are capable of shaping the entire crypto ecosystem.

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