The previous publication introduced the changing playing field as one of the developments for crypto service providers, as a result of the entry into force of MiCAR. In this article we will discuss in more detail the observation that the Dutch financial sector is lagging behind in developing digital asset propositions, in contrast to other European countries where financial institutions have already entered the crypto market.

At the moment, there is clearly a separation between cryptocurrency service providers and the rest of the financial sector in the Netherlands. An investing firm or bank that has introduced a crypto proposition to the market is rare to be found in the Netherlands. On the contrary, banks are actually abandoning previously started initiatives. For example, ING had been working on a cryptocurrency custody service called 'Pyctor' since 2018 but parted ways with it in mid-2022.. Additionally, a more recent example is the acquisition of BUX by ABN Amro, which briefly caused a lot of excitement in the Dutch crypto sector. However, this optimism was short-lived. Through the press release, it was announced that ABN Amro would not be taking over the crypto activities. The danger this creates is that the Dutch parties will lag behind the international competition. This gap is particularly evident in the areas of innovative capacity and reaching a young(er) target group, both of which are made more difficult by the absence of digital asset propositions.

In the Netherlands, no traditional major financial institution has entered the crypto market yet, but this is indeed happening in other European countries. In Germany, a licensing regime in place, which has led to several banks obtaining licenses to offer crypto custody services to commercial entities. Both Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank are examples of this. Not only in Germany but also in France, banks are active in the crypto market. Similar to the banks in Germany, Caceis Bank offers crypto custody services. But a more interesting example is Société Générale, this major French bank has issued a euro-based stablecoin thanks to its Digital Asset Service Provider license. This stablecoin, called EUR CoinVertible (EURCV), is tradable on the Luxembourg crypto exchange Bitstamp. This is good news for consumers, as it provides a more reliable alternative than stablecoins issued by less regulated parties. If the stablecoin becomes successful, it could also be very beneficial for Société Générale. Each euro issued on the blockchain must be backed 1:1 by the bank, which can then be invested in highly liquid and short-term debt securities.

It is striking that the trend in the Netherlands differs from that in our neighboring countries. However, this may change when MiCAR is implemented. Under the new licensing scheme, the AFM will become the supervisory authority for crypto service providers, while currently, DNB supervises the registration regime. As evidenced by the MiCAR – AFM update published in December 2023, they aim to be transparent and predictable in their supervision of licensed entities. The AFM itself aims to be transparent and predictable in its supervision of licensed entities, as evidenced by the MiCAR – AFM update published in December 2023. This progressive attitude is expressed, among other things, by offering a MiCAR quick scan to parties that plan to submit a permit application. In addition, the AFM held a seminar on January 25th about the authorization procedures for crypto service providers. We expect that this will increase the reliability of the market and the predictability of the regulator, ultimately leading to a more attractive business climate in the Netherlands. As a result, we anticipate the market will catch up and overcome its lag.  

Contact us

Maarten van den Noordaa 
Manager, Digital Strategy
KPMG in the Netherlands 

Toon Kuijsters
Consultant, Financial Risk Management
KPMG in the Netherlands 


We will keep you informed by email.
Enter your preferences here.