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Binance was given the order to cease offering any digital currency services in Belgium


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    Illustration shows smartphone with displayed Binance logo

    A smartphone with displayed Binance logo and representation of cryptocurrencies are placed on a keyboard in this illustration taken, June 8, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration Acquire Licensing Rights

    BRUSSELS, June 23 (Reuters) - Belgium's FSMA regulator on Friday ordered Binance to cease offering any virtual currency services in the country, adding to pressure on the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchange.

    Binance, which was founded by Changpeng Zhao in Shanghai in 2017, has grown to dominate the crypto industry but also faces scrutiny from regulators keen to clamp down on money-laundering.

    It has consistently defended its business practices.

    "Binance is offering and providing exchange services in Belgium between virtual currencies and legal currencies, as well as custody wallet services, from countries that are not members of the European Economic Area," the FSMA said.

    "The FSMA has therefore ordered Binance to cease, with immediate effect, offering or providing any and all such services in Belgium," it added in a statement.

    Earlier this month, Binance and Binance.US entered an agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to ensure U.S. customer assets remain in the United States until a sweeping lawsuit filed this month by the SEC is resolved.

    France is also probing Binance, which has decided to quit the Dutch market because it had been unable to meet registration requirements to operate as a virtual asset service provider.

    Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Louise Heavens and Alexander Smith

    Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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