Binance registers in Italy following France approval, almost a year after it was forced to scale back operations in Europe due to regulatory crackdown
Binance said it has registered with Italy’s crypto regulator, the Organismo degli Agenti e dei Mediatori (OAM), its latest official move as the major crypto exchange seeks to expand in Europe.
Binance Italy, a legal entity created in recent months, is now registered with the OAM as a Cryptocurrency Service Provider, allowing it to offer crypto services to customers in the country.
“Clear and effective regulation is essential for mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies,” said Binance chief executive Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ.
“We thank the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the OAM for their efforts in defining and controlling the necessary requirements to operate in Italy in full transparency.”
The company said the move will allow it to open offices in Italy and expand its team there.
Almost a year ago Binance was forced to scale back its operations in Europe amidst increased regulatory scrutiny.
In Italy last July the financial regulator CONSOB labelled Binance as an unauthorised services provider and forced it to halt its futures and derivatives business.
Earlier this month Zhao said Binance had registered with France’s market regulator. The company is seeking registration in Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal and Austria.
Last week it said its Bahrain branch has received a Category 4 license as a crypto asset service provider from the Central Bank of Bahrain, the first exchange to receive such a licence.
“The upgrade to a Category 4 license in the Kingdom of Bahrain is a landmark achievement for Binance and further signifies our commitment to being a compliance-first exchange,” said Binance’s head of MENA, Richard Teng.
Cryptocurrencies and other digital assets are largely unregulated, and face growing restrictions as authorities look to bring them into regulatory line with conventional assets.
The dramatic collapse of the Luna and TerraUSD cryptocurrencies earlier this month has added to calls for more effective regulation.
At the same time firms in the sector are looking to capitalise on intense interest from individual investors to gain mainstream acceptance, for instance making a conspicuous showing in Davos last week timed with the city’s annual World Economic Forum conference.