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France grants crypto giant Binance regulatory approval to operate cryptocurrency exchange

Binance has been granted approval from regulators to operate its cryptocurrency exchange in France.

The company is now listed as a registered digital asset service provider by the French stock market watchdog AMF, enabling it to offer trading and custody services for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Binance is the largest crypto exchange globally. The company handles spot trading volumes of more than $14 billion and nearly $50 billion in derivatives volume in a single day, according to data from CoinGecko.

The move makes France the first major European nation to give Binance the greenlight. The company is supervised in Lithuania by the country’s anti-money laundering regulators, and is also seeking registration with the Swedish finance watchdog.

Binance has no official headquarters, and once took pride in this fact. But the company is now seeking to make peace with regulators after a backlash last year from authorities in numerous countries including the U.K., Italy and Singapore. Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s CEO and founder, told CNBC last month that the company plans to establish its European base in Paris.

Binance has sought to turn on the charm in France lately.

Zhao gave a keynote at a crypto industry event in Paris last month to debut a new accelerator program for so-called “Web3” start-ups. The firm also committed to invest 100 million euros ($105 million) in the country.

Binance’s billionaire CEO described France as “very progressive” in adopting crypto.

“In our interactions with them, they are far more advanced in their understanding, and they’re also much more progressive in their attitudes,” he told CNBC

“France is a very strict regulator. But they have the advanced understandings to go with that.”

This story was first published in CNBC

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