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Binance withdraws license application in Austria

binance-withdraws-license-application-in-austria
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Binance withdraws license application in Austria

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is facing setbacks in expanding its operations in German-speaking countries. It has recently decided to retract its license application from the Austrian financial regulator FMA.

This withdrawal marks yet another setback in Binance’s efforts to expand its presence in Europe.

As Binance grapples with challenges, the pressure on the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume is intensifying in Europe. While the exchange is already embroiled in a lawsuit filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it also faces difficulties obtaining licenses across European countries.

According to an online magazine, Finance Forward in Germany, Binance has withdrawn its registration application with the Austrian financial supervisory authority FMA, allegedly due to undisclosed pressure from the authority. 

Approximately a year ago, Binance publicly announced its plans for expansion into Austria, including launching a subsidiary named Binance Austria GmbH. The company had also aimed to obtain a license for the subsidiary, potentially as a “service provider in relation to virtual currencies.”

In response to inquiries regarding its setback in Austria, Binance has chosen not to delve into specific details. A spokesperson for the company told the same German magazine they remain committed to operating in compliance with applicable regulations in all jurisdictions where Binance operates. Binance also indicated that it is not dismissing the possibility of a future return to the European market. The company emphasized its current focus on fully complying with the forthcoming MiCA (Markets in Crypto-Assets) requirements.

Binance’s license portfolio has narrowed to a select few European countries: France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden, and Lithuania. Also worth noting is that earlier today, the exchange decided to retain listings for specific privacy coins available to European traders, despite earlier indications of their potential removal. As a result, seven cryptocurrencies, including decred, dash, zcash, PIVX, navcoin, secret, and verge, have been granted an exemption from the previously anticipated delisting across France, Italy, Poland, and Spain.

From Europe to the UAE

Despite data from Kaiko suggesting Binance’s spot trading market reached its lowest point in nearly a year, the exchange continues to look at other expansion opportunities.

In a Tweet from June 14, the exchange pointed to United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a location to set their sights on, with high crypto interest. Moreover, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) has expressed the company’s interest in the UAE, citing the country’s well-defined crypto regulations and favorable stance towards the cryptocurrency industry.

Given the current legal challenges posed by regulators in the United States and German-speaking countries in Europe, the clarity and stability of the regulatory environment in the UAE present a good opportunity for exchanges seeking a supportive jurisdiction amidst ongoing legal disputes.