Binance appears to be preparing to exit Cyprus. The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission has marked Binance Cyprus Limited as “Under examination for application for deregistration” on its website.
In October, the cryptocurrency exchange received Class 3 registration as a Crypto Asset Services Provider (CASP) in Cyprus. At that time, Binance said the registration was “another milestone in Binance’s regulatory efforts in Europe” and that it “follows similar registrations for Binance’s local entities in France, Italy and Spain.”
Class 3 is the highest level of service provision in the island nation and allows the exchange to custody crypto assets, provide staking, manage portfolios and perform a number of other functions in addition to providing a trading platform. Despite this, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source at the regulatory body, that Binance never launched its services in Cyprus.
A Binance spokesperson told Cointelegraph:
“We are working hard to prepare our business to be fully compliant with MiCA [Markets in Crypto-Assets] when it is implemented in the next 18 months. To that end, 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."
The Cypriote regulator lists nine registered CASPs on its website, including Binance. Among the other listings are eToro and a Revolut entity. Other exchanges, such as Crypto.com and Gemini, are reportedly receiving registration in Cyprus, however.
The crypto industry is preparing for the European Union's MiCA legislation to take effect next year. Since Cyprus is an EU member, MiCA rules will thereby allow Binance to “passport” its registration from other European regulators throughout the countries subject to the new legislation.
BINANCE'S CYPRUS UNIT HAS APPLIED TO DEREGISTER AS CRYPTO ASSET SERVICE PROVIDER IN CYPRUS - SECURITIES REGULATOR WEBSITE— *Walter Bloomberg (@DeItaone) June 14, 2023
Binance, Binance.US and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao were sued by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on June 5 for 13 charges that included unregistered securities sales and failure to register as a securities exchange.