In a significant boost to its European ambitions, Binance has secured regulatory approval in France. The development marks the first time the exchange has secured approval from a G-7 member nation.
Foray Into Europe
Binance announced the news in a blog post on Thursday, stating that it had been granted a Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP) registration by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) along with the approval of the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR). The company stated that the approval is a significant development, demonstrating the company’s commitment to a compliance-first exchange.
The approval is also significant as it comes after Binance had faced several regulatory setbacks in its attempts to enter the European markets. Villeroy de Galhau had earlier touted the significant interest that Binance had shown in setting up a base in the French capital. Changpen Zhao, the co-founder, and chief executive officer of Binance, had also praised France as being one of the few pro-crypto jurisdictions in the world. In a short statement, Zhao stated,
“Effective regulation is essential for the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency.”
Expanding Global Operations
Binance has been expanding its global operations recently and has also obtained provisional approval to operate as a broker-dealer in virtual assets in Abu Dhabi. The exchange also obtained approval to operate in other markets in the Middle East, including Bahrain and Dubai.
The exchange has also invested over 100 million euros ($108 million) towards its operations in France. This includes a partnership with Station F, a Paris-based incubator. It also maintains an office in the United Kingdom.
Originally founded in China, Binance has pulled out of the country following the crackdown on crypto, with many firms choosing to move to Singapore. Binance is reportedly still looking for a permanent home after stating in December that it would be withdrawing its license applications and shutting down its Singapore operations.
Crypto Gaining Momentum
The regulatory clearance for Binance is also a sign that crypto and its associated firms are fast gaining momentum with regulatory bodies in certain markets. Along with Binance gaining a foothold in the Middle East, other exchanges such as FTX and Kraken have also received licenses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
However, several other jurisdictions, such as Singapore, have doubled down and imposed strict licensing regimes, stating that crypto posts a significant risk to retail investors and could also be used for illicit purposes such as money laundering.