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Binance Seeks to Deregister Cyprus Entity Amid Upcoming EU MiCA Rules

Fredrik Vold
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: AdobeStock / Iryna Budanova

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, is seeking to delist itself from the register of authorized crypto asset service providers (CASPs) in Cyprus in order to focus its efforts on complying with the EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation.

The move by Binance to strike its Cyprus entity off the register was first revealed on the website of the country’s financial regulator, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), which now says Binance is “under examination for application for deregistration.”

According to CySEC’s website, Binance was first added to the register in October of 2022, and was authorized to offer exchange services from fiat to crypto and crypto to crypto.

Source: screenshot from Binance’s profile on cysec.gov.cy

Binance has indicated in media statements that the reason it is delisting from Cyprus’ CASP register is so that it can focus on full compliance with the new MiCA regulatory framework in bigger EU countries.

A similar reason was also given in a Bloomberg article from Wednesday, which cited a Binance spokesperson as saying that larger European markets will be prioritized going forward.

“[We have] made the decision to pull back efforts in Cyprus to focus on our efforts on fewer regulated entities in the EU, especially our larger registered markets where we already have a mature footprint,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

In addition to the entity in Cyprus, Binance also has entities registered in France, Italy and Spain, all of which are countries that are covered by the MiCA rules.

Although MiCA has been signed into law, the brand-new regulatory framework is not expected to officially take effect within the EU until January 2025.

Differing US and European regulatory approach

In the US, Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao have been sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for offering unregistered securities and operating an unlicensed securities exchange.

Among other things, the SEC has said about Binance that it has shown a “blatant disregard of the federal securities laws.”

Perhaps due to the crackdown on the crypto industry in the US, Zhao has in the past praised Europe’s approach to crypto regulation, calling it “a pragmatic solution to the challenges we collectively face.”

“There are now clear rules of the game for crypto exchanges to operate in the EU. We’re ready to make adjustments to our business over the next 12-18 months to be in a position of full compliance,” CZ said back when MiCA was passed by the European Parliament.