Leading cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has received regulatory approval to operate in the Netherlands, marking its entry into the Dutch market. The virtual asset service provider (VASP) registration from the Dutch Central Bank enables Kraken to offer its products to both retail clients and professional traders in the country.
Highlighting the significance of the move, Kraken stated in a blog post that the Netherlands boasts “the highest fintech adoption rate among developed economies,” with approximately 20% of Dutch citizens owning cryptocurrencies.
This regulatory approval follows Kraken’s announcement in October of its intention to acquire Dutch crypto broker Coin Meester BV (BCM). The acquisition, coupled with the VASP registration, positions Kraken strategically in the European market.
“The European market for crypto services is highly fragmented, and we see significant opportunity for consolidation to strengthen our position in the region,” commented Kraken CEO David Ripley at the time of the Coin Meester BV acquisition.
The expansion into Europe is a common trend among crypto exchanges, driven by an uncertain regulatory environment for such entities in the United States. Europe, particularly, has become an attractive destination for crypto exchanges ahead of the implementation of the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation.
MiCA, passed in April of the previous year, mandates that crypto asset service providers seeking to serve European Union clients must obtain licenses from national authorities. The regulation is expected to take effect at the end of 2024.
Kraken’s move into the Netherlands aligns with its broader European strategy. The exchange received an EU e-money institution license from the Central Bank of Ireland and a VASP registration from the Bank of Spain in the previous year. Coinbase similarly selected Ireland as its “EU MiCA hub” in October.
Outside of Europe, crypto exchange OKX has also recently expanded into a new market. OKX’s new platform in Argentina allows crypto trading and staking for users in South American countries. Argentina has seen increased interest in crypto assets, and its president, Javier Milei, has expressed support for Bitcoin.
“Consumer demand for crypto assets continues to surge as innovations in the country evolve at a stunning pace,” said OKX President Hong Fang in a statement. “It’s that combination of an established crypto foothold and swift evolution that makes Argentina so exciting as our next market.”
Digital Assets Desk