Coinbase Europe Fined $3.6M for Severe Non-Compliance

Coinbase logo sinking together with human head in the Netherlands city canal.
  • The DNB granted Coinbase a window in which it can object to the fine before March 2nd, 2023.
  • The Dutch Central Bank (DNB) has imposed a €3.3 million fine on Coinbase Europe for extended non-compliance with Dutch registration regulations.
  • According to the DNB, Coinbase provided crypto services in the Netherlands without registering with them, violating Dutch law.

On January 26th, 2023, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) reported that an administrative fine had been imposed upon Coinbase Europe Limited (Coinbase) for non-compliance with DNB registration in the Netherlands.

The DNB gave the following statement on the issuance of the €3.3M (worth approximately $3.6M USD) administrative fine:

Coinbase provided crypto services in the Netherlands in the past without registration with DNB, which is in non-compliance with the law.”

The DNB has granted Coinbase a window in which it can object to the fine before March 2nd, 2023.

What Was Missing?

According to the DNB statement, companies that aim to provide cryptocurrency-related services within the Netherlands must register under the Dutch Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act (Wwft).

The DNB introduced the registration requirements on May 21st, 2020, to curb the risk of terrorist financing and money laundering through cryptocurrency-related services.

During the alleged period of non-compliance, Coinbase contravened the Wwft’s objectives by offering crypto service in the Netherlands without the required registration. Consequently, Coinbase could not report any unusual transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit-Netherlands during that time.

The DNB further reports that:

“Unusual transactions may have gone unnoticed by the investigative authorities during this period.”

A Hefty Fine for a Hefty Infringement

Coinbase obtained its registration on September 22nd, 2022, after severe non-compliance from November 15th, 2020, to at least August 24th, 2022. Thereafter, the crypto service provider obtained registration under the DNB after prolonged non-compliance with the Netherlands’ local law.

Coinbase’s period of non-compliance is punishable by a category three fine. The base amount of “€2 million, with a minimum amount of €0 and a maximum amount of €4 million” was set by the DNB’s general fine calculation policy.

Due to its position as a global cryptocurrency service provider, Coinbase provides services to many customers in the Netherlands. 

Considering this, the DNB increased the base amount for the fine following the “severity and degree of culpability of the non-compliance.” The exchange’s avoidance of supervisory fees also factored into the decision.

The Dutch Central Bank (DNB) reduced the fine by 5%, stating that Coinbase had always intended to obtain the necessary registration with DNB.

On the Flipside

Why You Should Care

Coinbase is one of the largest cryptocurrency service providers in the world, offering services to 103 million verified users last year. It remains to be seen how the US-based crypto exchange will perform in the compliance department moving forward.

Read more about Coinbase’s recent partnership with Borussia Dortmund:
Coinbase Kicks off Major Partnership with Borussia Dortmund

Read more about Coinbase’s Learning Rewards Campaign:
Coinbase Lists KAVA, Advancing Ethereum–Cosmos Interoperability

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Monique Brelage

Monique Brelage is a crypto news reporter with a particular interest in the NFT and Web3 gaming sectors. She combines her knacks as a writer, artist, gamer, marketer, and Web3 enthusiast to educate audiences about complex topics in an engaging way. After immersing herself into the realm of NFTs in 2019, Monique has since explored many industries, from fashion to commerce, but has always remained invested in the Web 3.0 ecosystem. She acknowledges the profound impact decentralization will have on the future.