According to Binance CEO, Zhao Changpeng, the company is going to open an office in Malta. Binance will soon start a “fiat-to-crypto exchange” on the European island nation, and is close to securing a deal with local banks that can provide access to deposits and withdrawals, he said, without providing a timeframe.
«We are very confident we can announce a banking partnership there soon», – Zhao said.
The company had an office in Japan and was trying to get a license to operate there, but decided to remove its staff to avoid a clash with local regulators. Japan’s Financial Services Agency issued a warning to the exchange on Friday for operating without approval.
Zhao said he was also continuing discussions with authorities in Hong Kong, but that the outcome of those talks was uncertain. Binance was among seven crypto exchanges to receive a warning letter in recent months from the city’s Securities and Futures Commission telling firms not to trade digital assets defined as securities under Hong Kong law.
The turning to Malta comes because the country is trying to become a hub for digital-asset ventures. The government has held several public consultations on regulating virtual currencies, token sales and crypto-exchanges. Plans for a Malta Digital Innovation Authority that will certify and regulate blockchain-based businesses and their operations were unveiled last month. The organization will also create a framework to oversee initial coin offerings.
Binance is also planning to launch a decentralized exchange in the coming months, said Zhao. About 10 teams are working on its development, but the technology is currently too slow to replace the firm’s existing centralized exchange, he added.