Kraken enters Netherlands as Gemini and Binance exit
United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is set to acquire Netherlands-based cryptocurrency exchange Coin Meester B.V. (BCM) as part of its European expansion plans.
While the financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, Kraken and BCM announced the pending acquisition following the implementation of the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulatory framework. Kraken has obtained virtual asset service provider (VASP) licenses to operate in Ireland, Italy, and Spain, and the acquisition of BCM is seen as a strategic move to establish a base of operations in the Netherlands.
Kraken’s CEO, David Ripley, cited the strength of the Dutch economy, high cryptocurrency adoption, and a culture of innovation as factors driving this expansion.
“The Netherlands has one of the world’s most advanced economies, with a well established culture of innovation and a high level of crypto adoption. This makes it a key market for us in our European expansion plans,” he added. “The acquisition of BCM will give Kraken a sizable position in the Dutch market and will allow BCM’s clients to benefit from an even more robust product offering.”
BCM Co-founder and CEO Mitchell Zandwijken said, “We founded BCM because we wanted to make crypto accessible to everyone. Kraken is the pioneer in this field with a track record spanning well over a decade, making it the perfect steward of our business going forward. Our clients will benefit from all that crypto has to offer through Kraken’s continuous investment and innovation.”
The move comes barely a week after 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. 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).
Rival exchange Binance also exited the Netherlands in June 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.