Poland’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platform, BitBay announced on May 29 that it would cease operations in the country in favor of a move to Malta. The platform revealed the decision in a statement published on its website. BitBay blamed the increasing operational restrictions brought about by the refusal of banks to offer services to the firm as the reason for the move.
BitBay was established in 2014 in Katowice, Poland. The platform offers trading support for 29 digital currencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. The crypto exchange service has over 800,000 customers and facilitates an average of 125 transactions per minute. BitBay joins other platforms like Binance and OKEx in moving to the Mediterranean Island country.
Banks Withdraw Support for BitBay
According to BitBay, banks in the country refused to offer their services. As a result, the platform is forced to move its business elsewhere to continue servicing its customer base. A portion of the statement on the platform’s website reads:
The activity of the BitBay exchange in Poland requires cooperation with Polish bank. Unfortunately, the last Polish bank ready to provide bank services undertook unilateral decision to finish the cooperation with BitBay with the effect at the end of May. In those circumstances, the continuation of providing high-quality services by BitBay exchange in Poland is no longer possible.
In line with the move to Malta, BitBay has set a September 17 deadline for account holders to create their Malta BitBay account. After the deadline, only the withdrawal option will be available to users who are yet to migrate their accounts. Such users will also not be able to make deposits.
Poland isn’t the only country where banks are restricting services to cryptocurrency exchange platforms. The central bank of Iran and Zimbabwe recently barred banks from transacting with crypto exchange services.
Poland is Not a Crypto-Friendly Country
Generally, Poland is one of the least crypto-friendly nations in the EU. Several government agencies have in the past tried to stifle the growth of the industry in the country. The Polish central bank sponsored a campaign against cryptocurrency investment by paying popular YouTube personalities to produce disparaging videos about the market. The Finance Ministry also enacted a stringent tax law on cryptocurrency trading. The tax law was met with great consternation by digital currency investors in the country.
Malta is Fast Becoming the Blockchain Capital of Europe
While Poland continues to stifle the growth of its domestic crypto industry, Malta is taking giant steps to encourage more digital currency investment within its shores actively. As a result, major cryptocurrency exchange platforms like Binance and OKEx have announced plans to move their operations to Malta.
Joseph Muscat, the country’s Prime Minister, is a crypto and blockchain enthusiast who believes that bitcoin and other digital currencies are the future of money. Thus, under the aegis of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority, the country is trying to develop regulations that will encourage the growth of nation’s cryptocurrency market. Apart from Binance and OKEx, Neufund is also moving to Malta.
Image courtesy of BitBay.net