Malta Wants to Become The ‘Blockchain Island’, With World’s Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange

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This week, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange with a $1.7 billion daily trading volume, has relocated its headquarters to Malta, a region that has always been friendly to cryptocurrency businesses and investors.

Along with its current team, Binance has moved its resources over to Malta, and has decided to employ more than 200 full-time employees to fully establish the company in the region. For any multi-billion dollar startup like Binance, the relocation of headquarters comes with difficulties, especially in regards to finances and regulatory conflicts.

But, it seems evident that the pro-blockchain attitude of Malta authorities has given Binance confidence to relocate its team and business to the region, placing Malta at the forefront of cryptocurrency growth.

Malta, The Blockchain Island

Silvio Schembri, Malta’s Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation, stated in an interview with the Binance team that the country remains confident in the work that is being done in the cryptocurrency sector. He further emphasized that Binance’s presence in the region would continue to allow Malta to evolve into the Blockchain Island.

“This is a clear vote of confidence in our country and the work being done in this sector, mainly by the latest policy launched to offer a regulatory framework of DLT operations. It is obvious that Malta has become a natural point of reference on the international sphere and companies such as Binance will continue to look into Malta to further expand their operations or establish a base. Binance’s presence in Malta sustains our vision, that of making Malta ‘The Blockchain Island,’” said Schembri.

In an official statement, the Binance team noted that Malta’s existing regulations and pro-blockchain legislation for its local cryptocurrency businesses ultimately convinced the company to invest in the European nation, after visiting and evaluating several regions.

Changpeng Zhao, the CEO at Binance who is better known as CZ, stated that the Binance team were inspired by the logical and forward-thinking nature of Schembri, and the rest of the Malta government.

“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 start-ups to grow the industry further in Malta,” Zhao said.

Influence on Other Regions

Recently, South Korean authorities have started to discuss the possibility of legalizing domestic initial coin offerings (ICOs) once again, after Kakao, the country’s largest internet conglomerate that operates KakaoTalk, KakaoPay, KakaoStory, KakaoStock, and KakaoTaxi, the country’s largest app that have nearly 90 percent market share of the messaging, payment, social media, online stock brokerage, and taxi service markets, revealed its plans to move its blockchain venture outside of South Korea.

Inevitably, startups and multi-billion dollar conglomerates will relocate to regions that are equipped with pro-blockchain legislature and are led by forward-thinking regulators. Malta’s warm welcome of cryptocurrency businesses and exchanges will likely influence other regions, like Japan and South Korea, to continue providing sound regulations to businesses to ensure their markets can grow exponentially, without regulatory conflicts.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Hong Kong-Based Finance and Cryptocurrency Analyst / Writer. Contributing regularly to CCN and Hacked. Offering cryptocurrency news and Insights Into Asian Market (South Korea, Japan, and more).