World’s Most Popular Cryptocurrency Exchange to Move to Malta
The well-known cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, is in the process of moving their operations to Malta. The exchange, which is said to be the most popular exchange in the world, made a quarterly profit of $200 million in Q1 2018, and turns over an estimated volume of $1.6 billion a day.
Binance Malta Move Prompted by Legal Uncertainties in Asia Pacific Region
To date, Binance has kept the location of its operations a closely guarded secret for security reasons. However, it is believed that the exchange has been operating from locations in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, but now, owing to legal uncertainties in the Asia Pacific region, Binance will be relocating its operations from Hong Kong to the small Mediterranean island of Malta.
Forward Thinking by Maltese Government
The forward-thinking government of Malta recently launched a new governmental body called the Malta Digital Innovation Authority. The Maltese government also put in place new legislation to provide the blockchain technology sector with legal certainty, which by inference means cryptocurrencies.
Three Steps to Welcoming Cryptocurrency Companies to Malta
Mr Silvio Schembri, Malta’s Secretary for the Digital Economy, has outlined a series of three steps with regards to Malta’s relationship with cryptocurrency businesses. The first step was to set up the Digital Innovation Authority. The second step will be the launching of a bill of parliament that will lay down the rules which will govern the registration of technology service providers in Malta and a technology arrangement certification process. The final step, step three, will be the launching of a bill that will define a framework for the regulation of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and other services related to cryptocurrencies.
Maltese Prime Minister Has Welcomed the Move
Joseph Muscat, the prime minister of Malta, has already welcomed Binance to the country with a message that he posted on Twitter. In his tweet, the prime minister said that it is Malta’s aim to lead the world in formulating a regulatory framework for blockchain-based businesses and it is the country’s goal to become the first choice of location for world-leaders in the fintech sector.
Malta to Become the “Blockchain Island”
Malta's secretary for innovation, Silvio Schembri, echoed the optimism of the prime minister by saying that the Binance decision to move their operations to Malta would help in the country’s ambition to become the “Blockchain Island”. He added that he believed that Malta has now become a point of reference on the radar of fintech businesses like Binance; businesses that will now look to Malta as a possible location for their main base or for their future expansion.
Trading Currencies yet to Be Confirmed
Although there has been no official announcement as to which currencies will be traded, as Malta is a member of the European Union and the US Dollar is the world’s most popular trading currency, experts have speculated that euros and US dollars are the most likely choice.
Malta and Binance Both Committed to Move
The Binance Malta move has yet to be formally agreed, however Malta does appear to be totally committed to providing a warm welcome to fintech companies, and the CEO of Binance, Zhao Changpeng, appears to be very confident that the move will go ahead. Zhao Changpeng said in an interview with Bloomberg that he believed that Malta is a very progressive country with regards to cryptocurrency and fintech companies. It is also understood that Malta is planning to create a decentralised exchange in addition to its already established centralised exchange. That move is expected to happen soon, but it is not yet certain if the new exchange will cater for the same fiat and crypto options.
Crypto Friendly Countries Benefit from New Investment
The government of Malta has recognised the value that distributed ledger technology could have for its economy. It has been shown before, in Puerto Rico for example, that there is a whole range of potential benefits for countries that welcome cryptocurrency businesses, not least of which is that cryptocurrency entrepreneurs are very happy to spend money in countries where they have been made to feel welcome. In Puerto Rico, where there is no capital gains tax and no federal income tax, the many cryptocurrency investors who have moved to the island have been investing in land and property and there have even been rumours of a new cryptocurrency-based city being built. This announcement of the potential move of Binance to Malta, along with the country’s welcoming attitude to cryptocurrency businesses, could well herald the beginning of some very large-scale investment in the tiny Mediterranean Island.