Kraken, a well-known cryptocurrency exchange, has announced its plans to acquire Coin Meester B.V. (BCM), a prominent crypto exchange based in the Netherlands. This move is part of Kraken’s strategy to expand its presence in Europe. BCM, with almost six years of operation, is one of the most enduring exchanges in the Netherlands.
David Ripley, Kraken’s CEO, highlighted the importance of the Netherlands in their European growth strategy. He mentioned the country’s flourishing economy and innovative spirit, stating that it is an essential destination for their European expansion.
Furthermore, Kraken emphasized its recent regulatory approvals as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) in countries like Ireland, Italy, and Spain. The exchange remains optimistic about obtaining more approvals across Europe, stating that they are actively pursuing registrations in other European territories.
According to insights from the World Economic Forum, the Netherlands ranks joint 6th among 50 European nations in terms of the proportion of its population investing in digital currencies.
Regarding the acquisition of BCM, Kraken has not disclosed the purchase amount, and the completion of the deal depends on meeting standard closing prerequisites, including obtaining necessary regulatory approvals.
Simultaneously, Kraken is dealing with legal issues in Australia related to its margin trading offering. The Australian Securities and Exchange Commission (ASIC) has initiated legal proceedings against Bit Trade, Kraken’s service provider for Australian clients. The contention revolves around Kraken’s alleged failure to establish a “target market determination” before launching its product.
This development aligns with the broader European regulatory sentiment to strengthen crypto regulations. The endorsement of the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) legislation by 27 European finance ministers reflects their inclination towards approving these regulations. The regulations primarily address tax-related uncertainties in the crypto industry and are scheduled to be implemented by July 2024.
In related news, eToro recently obtained regulatory clearance in the European Union and is now registered as a Crypto Assets Service Provider (CASP) under the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
While the US deals with the launch of Bitcoin ETFs, Europe has recently celebrated its first Bitcoin ETF listing on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange. This highlights the contrasting regulatory landscapes between the two regions.