Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance has announced that it will be opening an office in Malta in the wake of yesterday’s news that Japanese regulators had issued a warning to the exchange, Bloomberg reports today, March 23.
Hong Kong-based Binance, which is the number one exchange by 24 hour volume listed on CoinMarketCap, will work with local Malta banks for deposits and withdrawals for a “fiat-to-crypto” exchange.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, known in the crypto community as “CZ”, told Bloomberg that he had been invited to Malta by the government in order to look at an upcoming bill “favorable” to crypto businesses:
“We are very confident we can announce a banking partnership there soon. Malta is very progressive when it comes to crypto and fintech.”
According to the local news outlet Malta Independent, the country’s government had launched the Malta Digital Innovation Authority in February 2018 in order to provide legal clarity for companies developing Blockchain technologies, cryptocurrencies, and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO).
The prime minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, tweeted his excitement for Binance’s Malta move earlier today:
Zhao responded to the prime minister’s tweet, adding a sentence about the overall possibilities for crypto in Malta:
Binance had opened an office in Japan while in the process of trying to receive a license to operate in the country before. On March 23, Japan’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) issued a warning on Binance’s unregistered status led the company to move, according to Zhao.
In early February of this year, Hong Kong regulators had posted a notice to investors on the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies, noting that they had issued letters to seven Hong Kong-based exchanges as a warning against not trading in crypto considered “securities" under local law. Bloomberg reports that Binance was one of the seven exchanges to receive the warning letter.
Zhao also separately told Bloomberg that Binance will soon launch a decentralized exchange once the technology is ready.