Cryptocurrency exchange, Kraken, has achieved a significant milestone in the European market by obtaining its fourth virtual asset service provider (VASP) license. The Dutch Central Bank has granted Kraken a VASP registration, authorizing it to provide a range of digital asset services like exchange, transfers, custody, and wallet services within the Netherlands.
The VASP registration represents a comprehensive regulatory framework aimed at supervising entities that offer digital asset-related services. It necessitates compliance with several measures to ensure transparency and data protection, prevent money laundering, and immunize against terrorist financing. This is all in line with the regulation on Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) within the European Union.
In its pursuit of expanding its foothold in Europe, Kraken has managed to secure VASP licenses in Spain, Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Furthermore, it operates crypto services in Belgium through a fully licensed subsidiary. The company is working on capitalizing the Netherlands’ tech-savvy and crypto-friendly environment, where nearly 20% of its citizens reportedly own digital assets.
In 2023, Kraken strategized to enhance its market penetration in the Netherlands by acquiring the Dutch-based crypto exchange, Coin Meester B.V. This acquisition is still awaiting regulatory approval.
Despite its successful expansion in Europe, Kraken faced a legal setback in its home country, the United States. In November 2023, the US Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against the San Francisco-based firm accusing it of intermingling customer funds and failing to register as a securities exchange. Kraken eventually settled the charges by agreeing to a $30-million deal, which involved suspending staking products and services for its US customers.