(Bloomberg) -- Crypto exchange Binance Holdings Ltd. applied to strike its local Cypriot entity off the country’s register of authorized digital asset service providers, saying it planned to refocus its efforts elsewhere in the European Union.

A listing for Binance Cyprus Ltd., a subsidiary which was approved by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission to join its register of crypto providers in October 2022, was altered to say the firm was under examination for application to deregister with the watchdog, according to CySEC’s website on Wednesday. The register monitors cryptoasset companies for compliance with Cyprus’s anti-money laundering rules. 

The move means that Binance will no longer be able to solicit customers in Cyprus directly or provide services in or from the country, until such point that incoming EU rules allow the company to passport existing registrations from elsewhere in the bloc. Those rules, known as the Markets in Cryptoassets (MiCA) regulation, are expected to take effect in January 2025.

Binance, which says it has no defined global or regional headquarters, also holds registrations in France, Italy and Spain within Europe. A spokesperson for the exchange said it had “made the decision to pull back efforts in Cyprus to focus on our efforts on fewer regulated entities in the EU, especially our larger registered markets where we already have a mature footprint.”

The platform and its chief executive officer, Changpeng Zhao, were sued by both the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission this year, filing complaints which have accused them of mishandling client funds among other charges. 

CySEC suspended the license of crypto exchange FTX’s Europe unit in November after the company filed for bankruptcy in the US. FTX, whose founder Sam Bankman-Fried now faces a raft of civil and criminal charges, had broader permissions to operate an investment business in Cyprus following its acquisition of a local company just two months earlier.   

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