Binance is increasingly coming under pressure in Europe as well. The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume is currently facing a lawsuit from the US Securities and Exchange Commission. But the exchange also seems to have a hard time getting licenses in Europe. According to the official website, the exchange does have Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) licenses in France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden and Lithuania.
However, Binance’s European expansion is stalling in other countries, including Austria. According to a report in the German online magazine Finance Forward, Binance has withdrawn an application for registration with the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA).
Binance Fails To Obtain VASP License In Austria
According to the exclusive report, the license application withdrawal happened “some time ago”. The authority allegedly exerted pressure in the background, the magazine writes. However, neither the authority nor the exchange wanted to comment on this publicly.
“We are not in a position to disclose details from our discussions with regulators, but we will continue to act in accordance with our obligations wherever Binance operates,” a spokesperson is quoted.
Just about a year ago, the exchange led by Changpeng Zhao aka “CZ” had announced plans to expand into Austria and had established the Binance Austria GmbH last spring. The exchange wanted to obtain a license for the subsidiary. This means that Binance’s expansion in Austria has also failed.
The company’s business is increasingly under pressure in Europe. Within a month, the exchange has already withdrawn or had to withdraw from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium and Cyprus.
The good news is: For customers in Austria, the withdrawal of the application does not change anything. If Binance had received the license, the company would have been allowed to start marketing and advertising activities in the country, among other things.
Binance’s European Expansion Stalls
The withdrawal of its license application in Austria is one of several recent resounding defeats for the world’s largest crypto exchange. As Bitcoinist reported, Binance has to withdraw from the Netherlands, where it was operating without regulatory approval.
In Belgium, the financial regulator asked the exchange to take “immediate measures” to return all Belgian customers their crypto assets or transfer them to a service that has permission. In the UK, the exchange has also withdrawn its registration with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as well as in Cyprus. In France, investigations are ongoing over money laundering.
Nonetheless, Binance has shown itself to be combative. As part of its withdrawal from the Netherlands, Binance said it is focusing on the new MiCA regulations in Europe to ensure the exchange is fully compliant with the new requirements.
More Trouble Looming In Europe?
As Finance Forward also recently reported, Binance is currently struggling with a large turnover of staff in its management team in Europe. In recent months, Binance has lost more than half a dozen executives in the EU and the UK.
The most prominent departure is Michael Wild, who previously worked at broker eToro and was supposed to build the business in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with his team. His co-managing director in Austria, Raphael Zakarias, is also gone. Martin Bruncko, who worked at Binance under the title of Executive Vice President, Europe, left the company back in May.
Other executives who left in recent weeks and months are the head of legal for Europe & CIS, Mike Ringer; director of compliance Europe, Lynn McConnell; vice president of government affairs and policy in the UK, Daniel Trinder and head of marketing for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Doron Rozenberg.
At press time, the BNB price remained at a vulnerable price level, just above key support at $220.