Binance and Malta
Last week, Binance, easily the biggest digital currency trading platform with a $1.4 billion daily trading volume, moved out of Asia and relocated to Malta, a country within the European Union. In its official statement, the Binance team and its CEO Changpeng Zhao, better known to the community simple as CZ, stated that they agree on the government of Malta’s long-term aim to evolve the country into “The Blockchain Island.”
“After meeting with Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Silvio Schembri, we were impressed by the logical, clear and forward thinking nature of Malta’s leadership. After reviewing a proposal bill, we are convinced that Malta will be the next hotbed for innovative blockchain companies, and a centre of the blockchain ecosystem in Europe. Binance is committed to lending our expertise to help shape a healthy regulatory framework as well as providing funds for other blockchain startups to grow the industry further in Malta.”
For awhile, Binance has clarified its stance towards cryptocurrency-to-fiat trading, and firmly told its investors and users that plans to integrate cryptocurrency-to-fiat pairs are not on the horizon. But, its relocation to Malta and potential establishment of new banking partners could allow Binance to add cryptocurrency-to-fiat pairs with ease, without regulatory uncertainty and conflict with banking service providers.
Already, Binance has revealed its plans to launch a decentralized digital asset exchange called Binance Chain. Although the entire concept of a decentralized exchange defeats the purpose and renders the existence of centralized exchanges unnecessary, the Binance team’s aim from the beginning has been to provide every service that can be accommodated to a wide of users.
Hence, given the roadmap of Binance’s development, it is only logical for the company to move from cryptocurrency-only trading, to decentralized exchange, to cryptocurrency-to-fiat trading.
Bitfinex to Switzerland
Another major cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, a Taiwan and Hong Kong-based trading platform that processes cryptocurrency-to-US dollar trades, has been eyeing permanent relocation to Switzerland, as CCN previously reported.
For many years, Switzerland and Zug in particular, have been known as the blockchain capital of the world, primarily because of its friendly regulations towards initial coin offering (ICO) projects and cryptocurrency businesses.
Most notably, EOS, the sixth largest cryptocurrency in the world with a $4.5 billion market valuation, is based in Switzerland.
Bitfinex CEO Jean-Louis van der Velde emphasized that the company has had constructive talks with Swiss authorities, and is carefully considering its move from Asia to Switzerland.
“We are looking for a new permanent home for Bitfinex and the parent company iFinex, where we want to merge the operations previously spread over several locations,” said Velde.
The relocation of Bitfinex from Taiwan to Switzerland would lead to two of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges leaving Asia to Europe within a single month. If leading cryptocurrency businesses continue to move out of Asia due to impractical regulations to Europe, it could lead to Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong losing their dominance over the global market, and could trigger competition amongst global economies to house cryptocurrency businesses.