Gemini tells Dutch users to withdraw assets by November 17
Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, announced that it will cease providing services to customers in the Netherlands, citing regulatory requirements imposed by the country’s central bank.
Gemini asked its Dutch users to withdraw their assets or transfer them to another wallet address before November 17, 2023, when the platform will suspend its operations in the country. The exchange also recommended its existing customers to consider transferring their crypto or fiat assets to Bitvavo, a local cryptocurrency platform. Bitvavo, founded in 2018 and based in Amsterdam, is a member of the Dutch Association of Bitcoin Companies, which means that it operates in compliance with Dutch regulatory requirements.
Either way, Gemini urged its local users to take prompt action to ensure a smooth transition by adhering to the provided withdrawal timeline.
“We kindly ask you to proceed in emptying your Gemini account, ensuring that you no longer have a balance on your account as of 17th November 2023,” the company said.
However, the exchange said it intends to return to the Dutch market at a later date, indicating its commitment to navigating the evolving regulatory landscape.
Nevertheless, Gemini said it intends to re-enter the Dutch market after it manages to align its operations with the new regulatory guidelines for crypto assets as outlined in the Markets in Crypto-Assets regulations (MiCA).
The move comes nearly three months after rival exchange Binance exited the Netherlands following the rejection of its application to register under the Dutch crypto authorization regime.
Citing the inability to obtain registration as a virtual asset service provider (VASP) with the Dutch regulator, Binance said in June it would no longer be able to serve clients from the country.
Dutch Central Bank fined Binance €3.3 million as the crypto exchange was providing its services in the Netherlands without the required registration. Binance was originally hit by an administrative fine of a €2 million base amount. However, the DNB said the penalty was increased as the exchange benefited from lower costs because it hadn’t paid registration fees and other regulatory charges, unlike its competitors.
To encourage regulated business within the crypto industry, the country adopted 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.