DNB claims that Coinbase illegally operated in the Netherlands for almost two years.
The Dutch Central Bank, also known as De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), has allocated a hefty fine to cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
According to a Reuters report shared on January 26th, DNB fined Coinbase for failing to secure a correct registration before starting to operate in the country. In particular, DNB claims that Coinbase did not comply with local regulations from November 2020 to “at least” August 2022.
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The Dutch Central Bank fined Coinbase $3.6 million or €3.3 million.
DNB notes that because Coinbase was unregistered, "a large number of unusual transactions may have gone unnoticed by the investigative authorities."
It is worth noting that according to Dutch anti-money laundering laws, cryptocurrency firms have to register as money transmitters to be able to operate in the Netherlands.
Before fining Coinbase, De Nederlandsche Bank allegedly considered that Coinbase is “one of the largest cryptocurrency companies” and has “a significant number of customers in the Netherlands.”
Coinbase’s spokesperson revealed that the crypto exchange disagreed with DNB’s decision and was considering an appeal. A US-based cryptocurrency exchange has until March 2nd to appeal DNB’s decision.
It is not the first time the Dutch Central Bank targeted crypto-related firms with allegations that companies are failing to comply with local regulations. At the end of 2022, DNB issued an announcement claiming that the crypto exchange KuCoin is not licensed to operate in the Netherlands and therefore is offering its services illegally.
On top of that, in 2021, DNB alleged that Binance Holdings Limited is also not licensed to operate in the country. At that time, the largest crypto exchanges in terms of daily trading volumes paid more than €3 million in fines.