The Hong Kong based exchange Binance, which also has offices in Tokyo, has the option of establishing itself in Malta and making use of liberal local laws to gain a bank partnership. This means that Binance will rival services like Kraken, BitPanda and LiteBit.eu, by having access to European banking.
The exchange officially announced its expansion plans:
“After reviewing several different locations, the company decided to invest in the European nation due to its existing pro-blockchain legislation and the stability that it offers financial technology companies through its regulatory framework. With plans to substantially grow its operations, there are plans to eventually hire up to 200 people to assist their expansion.”
This would make the exchange even more influential, as it would target the European market. At the moment, Binance is a crypto-only exchange, and has been loaded with the fixed-priced Tether digital asset. This has created some skepticism, but the addition of fiat trading may mean extra liquidity and potential new investors for Binance.
Honored, sir! Part of my original quote to Bloomberg that was left out of the article. "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." https://t.co/cBZJnEgUGk
Malta has been attracting cryptocurrency investors and companies, and along with Gibraltar and the canton of Zug is quickly becoming one of the liveliest European hubs in the crypto space.
Japanese Authorities Remain Skeptical of Exchanges
The recent letter from the Japanese Financial Services Agency mean Binance would have to face more hurdles in becoming compliant. The Japanese financial watchdog became especially critical of the crypto space after Coincheck saw its wallet hacked, losing more than $400 million worth of NEM (XEM) coins.
At this point, Binance has not crossed any lines in terms of KYC or AML laws. But the Japanese regulators wanted more transparency when it came to standards of security. Exchange wallets have been one of the most vulnerable spots in the crypto world, and there are no standards, leaving the handling of valuable funds to common sense.
So far, Binance has survived the months after the ICO without a hack, despite the ever-growing transaction volume. At one point, a planned maintenance created rumors of a hack, but the exchange returned to trading as normal.