(Bloomberg) -- Belgian authorities ordered Binance to cease operations in the country, joining a growing roster of European and US regulators to act against the world’s largest crypto exchange.

Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority said that Binance is providing trading and wallet custody services in Belgium from countries that are not members of the European Economic Area, which is prohibited.

The agency demanded that Binance “take immediate measure” to return all Belgian clients their cryptographic keys and virtual currencies that Binance holds for their account,” or transfer them to authorized services. Binance, run by Changpeng Zhao, considers itself a virtual company without a headquarters.

“The Crown Prosecutor of Brussels has been informed of the acts that are liable to constitute a criminal offense,” the agency said in a statement Friday.

“We are disappointed to learn that the FSMA has come to this decision despite our ongoing conversations. We are reviewing the details of their notice and will continue to work collaboratively with regulators in Belgium and around the world in compliance with our obligations,” Binance said in a statement. 

Binance recently left the Netherlands after being unable to register with the Dutch regulator. Earlier this month, the US Securities and Exchange Commission sued Binance, Zhao and a US entity Binance.US he also controls for “blatant disregard” of securities law, including mishandling customer funds and misleading investors and regulators. French authorities are investigating Binance for the alleged illegal provision of digital-asset services and acts of aggravated money laundering.

In March, Binance suspended deposit and withdrawal services via bank transfers and card payment for UK customers after its local banking partner stopped providing support for transactions in British pound. In May, Binance Australia lost access to some Aussie dollar deposit services and warned of disruptions to bank transfer withdrawals.

While the European Union’s MiCA,  or Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation, will introduce more general rules governing activities relating to crypto-assets, these rules will only go into effect in January 2025. 

(Adds comment from Binance in the fifth paragraph.)

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