Binance to Open Offices in Malta
Binance, a company founded last year in Hong Kong, plans to open an office in Malta, founder Zhao Changpeng has said in an interview. Zhao was recently invited by the Maltese government in order to review an upcoming bill, which was beneficial to crypto businesses.
Binance shall soon begin a “fiat-to-crypto exchange” on the European island nation, and has nearly closed a deal with local banks that can provide access to deposits and withdrawals, he said, without giving a timeframe.
“We are very confident we can announce a banking partnership there soon,” Zhao commented. “Malta is very progressive when it comes to crypto and fintech.”
Regulators from China to the U.S. have been clamping down on exchanges and businesses relating to cryptocurrency, since 2017. This meant that companies such as Binance have been finding difficulty in finding a permanent base.
The company previously had an office in Japan and was attempting to gain a license in order to operate, but then decided to remove its staff to rule out any confrontation with local regulators, Zhao said.
On Friday, Japan’s Financial Services Agency released a warning for the venue of the office, due to operating without approval.
Zhao also stated that he was communicating with authorities in HongKong, though the result of such talks was inconclusive. Binance was just one of seven crypto exchanges that received a warning letter recently from the Securities and Futures Commission. This message warned firms not to trade digital assets defined as securities under Hong Kong law, a person familiar with the letter said.
This all arrives in Malta just as policy makers scurry for methods to promote the nation as a leader in the digital assets field. The government has been hosting multiple public consultations regarding the regulation of virtual currencies, token sales, and crypto-exchanges.
Binance also plans to release a decentralised exchange in the near future. Around 10 teams are working on the development, although the technology is presently not fast enough to fill the role of the firm’s existing centralised exchange, he said.
The Malta Independent reported that plans for a Malta Digital Innovation Authority that will regulate and certify blockchain-based businesses and their operations were revealed in February. The organization will also design a framework to oversee initial coin offerings.