Binance sets up Polish entity after Belgium ban

Cryptocurrency giant Binance has established a new regulated entity in Poland after being ordered to cease operations in Belgium by the country’s financial watchdog.

The world’s largest crypto exchange said the Polish unit would enable it to comply with obligations and continue providing services to Belgian users despite the ban.

Binance did not give details on the specific entity set up. However, creating a regulated subsidiary allows it to meet local compliance standards so it can still target customers in Belgium.

The move comes after Belgium’s market regulator FSMA instructed Binance to stop offering cryptocurrency trading services and products to Belgian users last month.

It said the exchange lacked the necessary registration to operate in the country, giving it two months to comply. Binance has faced scrutiny from regulators globally.

The exchange was founded in Shanghai in 2017 by CEO Changpeng Zhao and has grown rapidly to become the biggest crypto platform worldwide. But its meteoric rise has led to heightened oversight from policymakers.

US regulators sued Binance and Zhao in June for allegedly operating an unregistered exchange amid a broader crackdown on the crypto sector. Binance said it would “vigorously defend” itself.

This month, payments giant Mastercard announced it was terminating four crypto card partnerships with Binance across South America and the Middle East. The surprise move was another blow to Binance’s reputation with mainstream providers.

By establishing local regulated entities, Binance aims to show it is committed to meeting compliance standards and regulatory requirements, even as some jurisdictions order it to cease activity.

But the platform still faces an uphill battle to convince wary regulators and partners of its transparency commitments as investigations and bans mount.