Binance, currently based in China, is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Due to the heavy crackdown on digital currencies in China, the company moved its business to Japan. Now, there has been a rumor floating around the last few days that Japan’s regulators had issued a warning to Binance for operating in their country illegally, and due to which, the price of Bitcoin and other altcoins took a hit. Today, everyone got a pleasant shock when they came to know that Binance is moving to Malta and starting their operations afresh in Europe. The news took Twitter by storm, so let’s take an in-depth look at this hot and happening story.
Japan Regulators Warning to Binance
There was an unconfirmed report that Japanese regulators had warned the world’s biggest exchange, Binance, for operating in their country illegally. The news spread like a wildfire and the price of Bitcoin and altcoins dropped by 5% yesterday. Binance CEO Zhao Changpeng was quick to deny the the reports and called it “Irresponsible journalism”. However, they did receive some letter from Japanese authorities and refused to reveal what it said. He also added “Our lawyers called JFSA immediately, and will find a solution. Protecting user interests is our top priority.”
Malta – A Mediterranean Island
Malta is a small Mediterranean island country located in Southern Europe. It is a popular tourist destination and due to its warm climate, many Europeans move there to spend their holidays on its beaches and resorts. The country also has a large English speaking population, which also works toward its advantage.
The island nation is considered a tax haven and a crypto/blockchain friendly country. Recently its prime minister, Joseph Muscat, revealed the first draft of Malta’s blockchain strategy. The cabinet approved it, making Malta the first country to officially incorporate blockchain as part of its government’s overall strategy. This is quite surprising and different from the approach many other countries have taken, who have mainly discouraged the use of cryptocurrencies.
Binance moving to Malta
We already have some idea that there is tension between Binance and its relationship with the Japanese government. Due to this, Binance had been looking to Hong Kong for starting its branch, but the authorities there were not happy about tokens being offered on their exchanges. Moreover, Hong Kong is not in favor of ICOs and other ERC20 tokens, and like the U.S., considers them to be securities.
So, Binance dropped the idea of moving to Hong Kong to do business, since their government didn’t want Binance to list tokens. Now, to everyone’s surprise, news has surfaced that one of the biggest crypto-exchanges in the world is moving to Malta. The refreshing and most surprising part of this thing is that Malta’s prime minister himself has welcomed the exchange to his country. This is what he tweeted:
“Welcome to Malta Binance. We aim to be the global trailblazers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses and the jurisdiction of quality and choice for world class fintech companies“
With a number of governments and leaders opposing the entry of cryptocurrencies in their country, Malta’s prime minister welcoming the exchange took twitter by storm.
Below are some of the tweets appreciating this move and expressing their approval:
Dennis Parker tweeted “Small countries are smart countries”
Whale Panda tweeted “Binance having an office in the EU for fiat on-ramp is quite interesting. I expect more Blockchain companies to go to Malta. EU based, everyone speaks English, friendly regulatory environment for fintech. Also a lovely island.”
Crypto Rand tweeted “Binance will be opening offices in Malta. Aiming to create a Fiat-Crypto gateway exchange in the European Union”
CryptoSqueeze predicting the mad rush to open an account on Binance tweeted: “If you still don’t have an account on Binance, I suggest signing up soon, (even if you leave it dormant). Because during the next altcoin bullrun, who knows if they’ll close the registration again due to user surge.”
Joseph Young tweeted “Malta’s prime minister is personally welcoming Binance, world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, to the region. I think this is unprecedented for any industry. How often does a prime minister of a country personally welcome a business into the region?”
Overall, the sentiments on Twitter were very bullish and there seemed to be a lot of excitement after this news began circulating.
Boon or Bane?
Binance moving to Malta is considered as a Boon by a large number of cryptocurrency enthusiasts, since an exchange located in the EU will help fiat on-ramp and could pave the way for wider adoption of cryptocurrencies. The friendly regulatory environment is also a blessing for the exchanges and other fintech companies. However, one needs to keep in mind that even if the tax haven island wants to embrace blockchain technology, EU regulators’ ability to crack down on cryptocurrencies anytime in the future might be a big problem. So, we just need to wait and watch, for now, and this is a time to celebrate this moment and hope that the people of Malta and Europe use this opportunity to make positive contributions toward the development and advancement of cryptocurrencies.