Crypto Exchange Binance Moves to Malta Amid Regulatory Trouble
Binance, as covered by Ethereum World News,s facing regulatory trouble in Japan as the country’s Financial Services Agency sent it a warning letter demanding registration with the regulator. In a new development, Binance’s CEO revealed the company is moving its offices to Malta, where it’s seeking banking partners.
Founded last year in Hong Kong, Binance has quickly become one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, with daily trading volumes often reaching $2 billion. According to Bloomberg, it will start offering fiat-to-crypto trading pairs on the European island, provided it secures a deal with local banks.
Speaking to the publication, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao stated:
“We are very confident we can announce a banking partnership there soon. Malta is very progressive when it comes to crypto and fintech.”
The move to Malta is said to be a way for the company to avoid a clash with local regulators, although Zhao had in the past stated Binance was in contact with Japan’s FSA, after dubbing a report revealing its regulatory troubles as “irresponsible journalism.”
Zhao further noted that Binance is in discussions with authorities in Hong Kong, although their outcome is uncertain. The exchange is one of seven who reportedly received a letter from the Securities and Futures Commission telling them not to trade digital assets defined as securities.
The pivot to Malta was notably welcomed by the European island’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who publicly welcomed the company on Twitter:
In response, Zhao stated he was “honored” to receive the vote of confidence, and added that a part of his interview was left out of the Bloomberg article. He quoted:
“Malta is very progressive when it comes to crypto and fintech. We think it is a good place for other crypto businesses to look into as well.”
Per Bloomberg, Malta has recently held several public consultation on cryptocurrency and ICO regulations. Last month, the island unveiled plans for a Malta Digital Innovation Authority, set to regulate and certify blockchain-based businesses.
The Maltese government may even be looking for Binance’s help in regulating the crypto space, as Zhao revealed he had been invited to review an upcoming bill, said to be favorable to crypto-related businesses.