The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) has given the green light to the Dutch crypto exchange Bitvavo to operate as a registered Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP).
The pivotal license marks a significant step in Bitvavo’s plans to expand in Europe, following success in the Benelux region. The exchange is also registered in the Netherlands.
Per a recent survey by Multiscope, Bitvavo is the biggest and most valued crypto exchange in the Netherlands. Mark Nuvelstijn, CEO of Bitvavo expects the same resonance that the company brought to the Netherlands.
“The registration with the Austrian FMA enables us to get active in a new market,” Nuvelstijn noted.
“Bitvavo is a compliance-led European crypto exchange, offering competitive and transparent transaction fees, and more than 200 digital assets on an easy-to-use platform. This combination is unique in Austria and the rest of Europe.”
The exchange currently has approximately 1.5 million European users and is planning to widen its user base. The regulatory approval from the Austrian regulator comes a year after Bitvavo secured registration in Italy.
Further, the platform has applied for a license with the German regulator BaFin and hopes to receive approval in 2024.
“Born in Amsterdam, built for Europe,” said Nuvelstijn. “Bitvavo will strive to stay at the forefront of regulatory developments and will continue to actively contribute to these developments.”
The Dutch exchange revealed last year that it has €280 million ($297 million) stuck with Digital Currency Group (DCG). Bitvavo assured customers that the situation “does not have any impact on its platform.”
In a blog post, Bitvavo claimed that DCG is “experiencing liquidity problems due to the current turbulence in the crypto market.” DCG “has suspended repayments until this liquidity issue has been resolved,” it further said.
However, a DCG spokesperson told Reuters that the funds are held by its “independent subsidiary” Genesis, not DCG.
Additionally, in response to the recent Genesis bankruptcy, Bitvavo has laid out plans to reimburse its customers. This includes repaying users in cash, digital assets and convertibles.
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