Binance gets regulatory nod in France, paving the way for Europe push

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Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange by volume, has gained regulatory approval to provide digital asset services in France, the first European country where it has acquired such permission, the company said in a blog post on Thursday.

The greenlight was granted by the country's market and banking authorities and arrived months after several regulatory setbacks that the exchange faced on the continent.

"Effective regulation is essential for the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency," says Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, in a statement.

In November, France's financial industry regulator said that Binance must focus on "anti-money laundering compliance" if it wanted regulatory support to set up a regional hub in Paris. The U.K. published a notice in August saying the company did not have the written consent to operate there. Germany also issued a similar warning.

Binance has been busy trying to show European regulators its commitment to practice compliance and promote the region's blockchain ecosystem. In November, Binance said it would invest 100 million euros to "support the development of the French and European blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem" as well as to set up an R&D hub in France.

Originally founded in China, Binance has largely pulled out of the country following Beijing's sweeping crypto ban. Many Chinese-founded crypto firms have moved their core management to Singapore, which is quickly emerging as a regional hub for blockchain startups. Binance is reportedly still seeking a new home and said in December that it would withdraw its license application and close down operations in Singapore.

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