Crypto platform Coinbase will have to pay a fine of 3.25 million euros in the Netherlands. This is what regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) reported on Thursday. Coinbase, a large American trading platform, was active in the Netherlands for almost two years without the required registrations. The illegal activities happened between November 2020 and August 2022.
Coinbase is one of the largest providers of crypto services worldwide. DNB says the company had ‘a considerable number of customers’ in the Netherlands, but has not disclosed how many exactly. According to DNB he crypto platform had a competitive advantage because the company did not pay any taxes due to the lack of registration in the country, but did however have the intention to request this. Licences were finally awarded in September 2022.
Since May 2020, crypto platforms in the Netherlands are required to register with DNB. Due to the anonymity of crypto services, DNB thinks there is a high risk of money laundering and terrorist financing, and it claims that in the period in which Coinbase was active without registration, there were a large number of unusual transactions on the platform. Due to the lack of licencing they remained hidden from the investigative authorities.
In December 2022, the DNB also targeted the cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin saying that it too was operating without a license and therefore offering services illegally. In 2021 it similarly targeted Binance Holdings Limited, for which the exchange paid also more than 3 million euros in fines.
In the United States, where Coinbase is the most popular crypto platform, the company has to pay a fine of 50 million dollars (46 million euros) because it has not done enough to prevent money laundering.
News surrounding Coinbase has been pretty much negative since the beginning of 2022. The company has been in the headlines for numerous reasons relating to its business operations. And so far 2023 has not been any better.
On January 10 it announced that it would cut a fifth of its workforce due to operational restructuring. A week later on January 18 Coinbase announced that it would stop its operations in Japan due to the ongoing effects of the 2022 bearish market.
Coinbase has lost more than 70 percent of its market value over the last 7 months. The crypto platform laid off 1,150 employees last summer, nearly a fifth of its total. It was recently announced that another 950 people will lose their jobs at Coinbase, this means Coinbase has cut 35 per cent of its workforce since June.
Chief executive Brian Armstrong recently spoke about the need to “make sure we have the operational efficiency to weather downturns in the crypto market”. But he assured the world that Coinbase was well capitalised “and crypto isn’t going anywhere.”