World’s Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange Preparing To Open Office in MaltaMarch 23, 2018 8:02 pm
Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by traded value and it’s hoping to capitalize on that by opening a new office in Malta, according to Bloomberg.
Chief Executive Officer Zhao Changpeng said that the company which was founded last year is planning the new office for a “fiat-to-crypto exchange” on the European island nation and is on the way to securing a deal with Maltese banks that can provide access to deposits and withdrawals.
Zhao did not provide a specific timeframe for the move but said, “We are very confident we can announce a banking partnership there soon. Malta is very progressive when it comes to crypto and fintech.”
Regulators across the world from China to the United States have been cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges this past year which has complicated the issue of finding a permanent base for companies like Binance.
The company previously held an office in Japan and was trying to obtain a license to operate there, but instead decided to move after a clash with local regulators, according to Zhao.
Japan’s Financial Services Agency issued a warning to the exchange on Friday for continuing to operate without approval.
Zhao also said that he was still in discussions with officials in Hong Kong but the outcome of those talks was uncertain.
Binance was among the companies that received a warning letter from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission that told firms not to trade digital assets defined as securities under Hong Kong law, one source familiar with the matter said.
The decision to expand in Malta comes as the country has been trying to find new ways to become a hub for the digital-asset world.
The government in Malta has already held several public consultations on regulating virtual currencies, token sales, and cryptocurrency exchanges and there are plans for a Malta Digital Innovation Authority that would certify and regulate the blockchain-based businesses and their operations last month.
The Malta Independent reported the new organization and said it would also be establishing a framework to oversee initial coin offerings.
“Welcome to #Malta @binance,” Joseph Muscat, the country’s prime minister, tweeted on Friday. “We aim to be the global trailblazers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses.”
Zhao also said that he was invited by the Maltese government to review a bill that would be favorable to crypto-businesses.
Coinmarketcap.com says that Binance is currently the world’s top-ranked exchange by volume for the past 24 hours and is trading nearly $1.7 billion.
Zhao also said that Binance would be launching a decentralized exchange later this year and that 10 teams are working on its development, but the technology is currently lagging to replace the firm’s centralized exchange.
–WN.com, Maureen Foody