Binance Set to Leave Cyprus Ahead of MiCA Legislation
Binance has applied to pull out of Cyprus, according to a listing with the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission.
The world’s biggest crypto exchange is under review to deregister with the regulator ahead of the European Union’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) legislation—set to become law next year.
The legislation, which applies to those “engaged in the issuance, offer to the public and admission to trading of crypto-assets or that provide services related to crypto-assets in the Union,” will mean digital asset firms will face tighter rules such on stablecoins and the implementation of new anti-money laundering (AML) and data security procedures.
A reason for Binance’s deregistration was not given on the regulator’s website. But Binance told Decrypt it was focusing “efforts on fewer regulated entities in the E.U., especially our larger registered markets where we already have a mature footprint, including France, Italy and Spain.”
“We are working hard to prepare our business to be fully compliant with MiCA when it is implemented in the next 18 months,” a Binance spokesperson added.
Binance advertises itself as being available in over 100 countries on its website, but Cyprus is no longer featured on the list. Earlier this month, the crypto company announced that it was leaving Canada due to “new guidance related to stablecoins and investor limits.” Canada’s Ontario Securities Commission had hit Binance with an investigation shortly before.
Binance has faced regulatory challenges as of late.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week sued the exchange, hitting the crypto behemoth with 13 charges, including operating unregistered exchanges, broker-dealers, and clearing agencies; misrepresenting trading controls and oversight on the Binance US platform; and the unregistered offer and sale of securities.
The move comes as American regulators clamp down on the crypto industry harder than ever before. This year alone, a number of major digital asset exchanges—Kraken, Coinbase, and Gemini—have been hit with fines and lawsuits.
The SEC’s complaint against Binance is particularly serious, alleging that the world’s biggest digital asset exchange by volume, was run through a “web of deception” by CEO Changpeng Zhao and commingled customer funds.
As a result, the world’s most recognizable crypto brand has hired a high-powered legal team to battle the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission—including contracting an ex-SEC lawyer.