In a significant move for its European growth strategy, Kraken has proudly announced the acquisition of a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) registration from the Dutch Central Bank (DNB). This pivotal development marks an important step in Kraken’s ongoing efforts to broaden its reach within the European market, particularly in the Netherlands, and to offer its leading-edge products to Dutch clients. Committed to fully complying with European regulations, Kraken has successfully obtained multiple registrations across the continent, including in Spain, Italy, and Ireland, and is vigorously pursuing further registrations in other European territories.
A Strategic Step for European Presence
Brian Gahan, Managing Director of Europe for Kraken, expressed enthusiasm over the recent achievement, stating, “With the addition of the Dutch VASP registration, our European growth strategy continues to accelerate.” He highlighted the significant opportunities that lie in introducing Kraken’s offerings to both retail and professional traders in the Netherlands and across Europe. Kraken stands out as a premier choice for those already investing in crypto or newcomers to the market, thanks to its competitive and expanding range of services.
The Netherlands: A Key Market in Europe
The Netherlands boasts a thriving startup and technology sector, a robust financial services industry, and the highest fintech adoption rate among developed economies. Notably, it also ranks high in crypto adoption rates in Europe, with approximately 20% of Dutch citizens owning cryptocurrency.
These factors position the Netherlands as a strategically crucial market for Kraken’s expansion efforts in Europe. This is further evidenced by Kraken’s proposed acquisition of Dutch crypto broker BCM in October 2023, showcasing a clear commitment to establishing a strong foothold in the Dutch market.
Preparing for MiCA and the Future of Crypto in Europe
Anticipating the upcoming implementation of the EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulatory framework, Kraken has ramped up its investment in the region to support the long-term growth of the crypto industry. The European market’s fragmentation, alongside rising costs and increasing competition, is expected to catalyze a wave of consolidation within the industry. Kraken plans to leverage its financial and operational resources to expand its market share and solidify its presence in Europe.
Clients choosing Kraken gain access to an extensive selection of over 200 digital assets, market-leading liquidity, superior security standards, and round-the-clock live client support.
Payward Continental Services Limited, operating under Kraken, holds a registration with the DNB as a provider of crypto services.
This registration signifies DNB’s oversight of the company’s adherence to the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act and the Sanctions Act 1977, although it does not include prudential or conduct supervision by DNB or the AFM, indicating no supervision of financial requirements or business risks and no specific financial consumer protection.
Kraken’s acquisition of the VASP registration from the Dutch Central Bank is more than just a regulatory approval; it’s a significant milestone in its ambitious European expansion plan. By strategically positioning itself in the Netherlands and beyond, Kraken is set to offer unparalleled services to a broad audience, reinforcing its commitment to compliance, security, and innovation in the crypto space.
What is a VASP registration?
VASP stands for Virtual Asset Service Provider. A VASP registration allows companies to offer services related to virtual assets, such as cryptocurrencies, in compliance with regulatory standards and anti-money laundering (AML) requirements.
Why is the Dutch market important for Kraken?
The Dutch market is vital for Kraken due to its vibrant technology sector, strong financial services industry, high fintech adoption rate, and significant crypto adoption among its citizens, making it a strategic market for Kraken’s European expansion.
What does the DNB’s oversight entail?
The DNB’s oversight involves monitoring compliance with the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act and the Sanctions Act 1977. It does not include prudential supervision or conduct supervision, meaning there’s no oversight on financial requirements, business risks, or specific financial consumer protection.
How does Kraken’s VASP registration affect consumers?
Kraken’s VASP registration enhances consumer trust by demonstrating compliance with regulatory standards. However, it’s important for consumers to note that some crypto products and markets are unregulated, and they may not be protected by government compensation and/or regulatory protection schemes.
What is MiCA, and why is it important?
MiCA, the Markets in Crypto-Assets regulation, is an upcoming regulatory framework from the European Union designed to provide comprehensive rules for crypto assets, aiming to protect investors and ensure market integrity and financial stability within the EU’s crypto market. It’s important as it will establish a harmonized regulatory environment for crypto assets across Europe.