Coinbase approved to offer crypto for Dutch users

Nasdaq-listed crypto exchange operator Coinbase has been handed regulatory approval to operate as a crypto service provider in the Netherlands.


The move comes barely two months after its rival Binance was slapped with a 3.3 million euro fine from the Dutch central bank for operating in the Netherlands without registration.

Coinbase said it has become “the first major global crypto exchange” to successfully register with the Dutch Central Bank — De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB). However, the DNB’s register for approved crypto-asset service providers already lists more than 30 names, including giants such as OKCoin and Bitstamp.

Anyways, the thumbs up allows Coinbase to offer its full suite of retail, institutional, and ecosystem products to Dutch customers.

To encourage regulated business within the crypto industry, the Netherlands adopts a licensing scheme for digital assets services after the amendment it introduced two years ago to the EU’s Money Laundering Directive. The Dutch government also introduced  a raft of new regulations, including tougher KYC rules for digital currency transactions. The authorities want to prevent anonymity in cryptocurrency transactions thereby placing a ban on anonymous crypto accounts.

“As part of Coinbase’s ambition to be the world’s most trusted and secure crypto platform, we have taken strides to work collaboratively with government, policymakers and regulators to shape the future in a responsible way. Coinbase prides itself on being a compliance-led business. The Netherlands is a critical international market for crypto, and I am really excited for Coinbase to bring the potential of the crypto economy to the market here,” said Nana Murugesan, Vice President, International and Business Development at Coinbase.

The DNB registration approval is a significant milestone in Coinbase’s continued international expansion. The exchange revealed plans to expand further into Europe, possibly to offset the sluggish growth in its core markets as crypto winter bites.

Coinbase already holds authorisation from Ireland and Germany, as well as the UK Financial Conduct Authority to operate a multilateral trading facility (MTF). Additional registrations or license applications are in progress in several major markets, in compliance with local regulations.

The largest crypto exchange in the US has targeted five potential European jurisdictions, namely Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Nana Murugesan, Coinbase’s vice president of international, pointed out that the exchange has been already engaged in discussions with regulators to set ups new shops in Europe.

Murugesan said that roles for regional managing directors, country directors, and other leadership positions were open for these regions. However, Coinbase is mainly prioritizing “mission-critical roles” across security and compliance throughout the year.

Coinbase laid off about 18% of its workforce — or about 1,100 people — earlier this month. CEO and cofounder Brian Armstrong blamed a looming “crypto winter” alongside impending recession as the reasons for making these drastic cuts.