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French MEP calls Binance regulatory approval 'surprising and alarming'

Binance regulatory approval is

Binance received approval from French authorities to establish a significant presence in one of Europe's top financial centers last month, on May 6. However, the country's market regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), is under fire for approving the crypto exchange giant.

European legislators' retaliation

According to the Financial Times, European lawmaker Aurore Lalucq has asked the AMF to reconsider its ruling, which she claims provided Binance with a "guarantee of respectability."

According to the Financial Times, the French MEP stated in a letter sent to the AMF earlier in June that the regulator's decision was:

“surprising and even worrying…, especially since many other supervisors, and not the least significant ones, have already refused to give Binance any form of registration or approval,”

In addition to that, the lawmaker said:

“it is our job as European and national legislators to move as fast as possible to clarify the situation so that institutions can fulfill their responsibilities efficiently.”

The crypto exchange, on the other hand, characterized the French approval as a critical step in the company's plan to operate as a traditional entity with a formal headquarters. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao added that France would "at the very least" serve as the exchange's regional headquarters.

Europe Receives a Cold Reception

Concerns about AML/CFT have fueled restrictions on the crypto exchange giant's operations in Europe, and for good reason. Furthermore, the company has been chastised for its consumer-protection policies and procedures.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Binance facilitated over $2.35 billion in illicit activities between 2017 and 2021. According to the report, the cryptocurrency exchange was a convenient conduit for illicit actors to wash their funds.

The French authorities' approval of the crypto exchange sparked predictable criticism.

The move was unexpected, according to Spanish MEP Ernest Urtasun, a member of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs panel. "I wasn't expecting this to happen in France," he said. According to the Financial Times, "France is probably the jurisdiction that is taking the toughest stance in regulating crypto."

Furthermore, the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom suspended the exchange's operations in June 2021. It stated that the cryptocurrency exchange was "unable to be effectively supervised" and warned that its "complex and high-risk financial products" posed a "significant risk to consumers."

Similarly, regulators in Singapore, Japan, Italy, and the Netherlands have suspended the crypto exchange giant's operations in their respective countries.

Other jurisdictions have had moderate success.

Despite the increasing restrictions in Europe and Asia, Binance has had success in some jurisdictions.

The exchange was granted permission to operate as a cryptocurrency service provider in Italy in May 2022. The country's market regulator had previously warned that the exchange was not an authorized investment service provider.

In addition, Dubai authorities granted Binance a cryptoasset license to operate within its jurisdiction earlier this month. In Bahrain, the crypto exchange accomplished a similar feat.

However, the passage of the European Union's Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA) will determine Binance's future in Europe.

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