Kraken secures VASP registration in the Netherlands

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Crypto exchange Kraken has secured its fourth license in Europe, making its compliant services now available in the Netherlands.

According to an announcement on Feb. 8, the exchange was granted a virtual asset service provider (VASP) registration from the Dutch Central Bank (DNB), giving it the ability to offer exchange and transfer services of virtual assets, as well as custody and wallet services.

A VASP license is a regulatory framework designed to oversee businesses that provide services related to digital assets. Under the regulation on Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA), entities providing services related to digital assets within the European Union must comply with a range of requirements, including preventing money laundering and terrorist financing and ensuring client information is disclosed and transparent.

The exchange has been targeting key markets in Europe. In addition to the Netherlands, Kraken has VASP licenses in Spain, Italy and Ireland. It also offers crypto services in Belgium through a licensed subsidiary.

“The Netherlands has a vibrant startup and technology sector […] It also has one of the highest crypto adoption rates in Europe with around 20% of Dutch citizens owning crypto,” Kraken noted in the statement.

In October 2023, the exchange announced the acquisition of a Netherlands-based crypto exchange Coin Meester B.V. (BCM) to expand its market presence in the country. The deal is pending regulatory approval.

Kraken’s regulatory progress in Europe contrasts with its challenges in the United States. The company, based in San Francisco, was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission in November 2023 for allegedly commingling customer funds and failing to register as a securities exchange, broker, dealer and clearing agency — Binance and Coinbase had been sued by the regulator on similar grounds a few months earlier.

In February 2023, the exchange reached a $30-million settlement with the SEC, which included the suspension of its staking products and services for U.S. customers.

Magazine: Big Questions: How can Bitcoin payments stage a comeback?



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