In an effort to expand its business, Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange OKEx is setting up an office in the Mediterranean island country of Malta. Malta is soon becoming the center of attention for crypto companies, as the Maltese government recently updated its investment policies to make it more crypto friendly.
Malta to Get Crowded With Crypto Businesses
In a press release, OKEx announced its progressive expansion to the European continent. OKEx, being the second largest trading platform based on daily crypto trading volume, can now directly serve European customers.
Just weeks before, Binance — world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume — set up shop in Malta. At the time, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat excitedly welcomed Binance to the country.
Chris Lee, CEO of OKEx, said of the move:
“We look forward to working with the Malta government as it is forward thinking and shares many of our same values: the most important of which are protection of traders and the general public, compliance with Anti Money Laundering and Know Your Customer standards, and recognition of the innovation and importance of continued development in the Blockchain ecosystem.”
At present, OKEx is based in Hong Kong where the government is taking a stricter stance against crypto-related businesses. If a difficult situation arises in Hong Kong, the Malta office can serve as a backup to continue operations.
Blockchain Island Welcomes Crypto Giants
The Maltese government aims to revamp its island as a bona fide “Blockchain Island.” Earlier this year, the Maltese government divulged its plan to establish a government body, dubbed the Malta Digital Innovation Authority, that would license crypto businesses.
Silvio Schembri, Maltese Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy, and Innovation, stated:
“The fact that Malta is at the forefront in launching a regulatory framework that regulates this sector by means of setting up an authority, in itself has attracted the interest of global companies such as Binance and OKEx.”
According to Tim Byun, Chief Risk Officer and Head of Government Relations of OKEx, the Maltese government’s approach towards cryptocurrencies will result in developing a healthy ecosystem. The pro-crypto administration is paving a fruitful future for the country’s economy.
“Malta’s Virtual Financial Asset Act is a solid foundation for the industry and the government to work together in fostering the nascent blockchain/digital asset industry. More specifically, Malta’s sound risk-based approach will help cultivate a responsible, compliant, and healthy ecosystem,” said Byun.
Indeed, the small island country hopes to get crowded with crypto startups. Malta is taking full advantage of the crypto revolution to boost its economy. Other small countries like Bermuda are also transforming to crypto-friendly nations to make the most of the newly developed fintech ecosystem.
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Images via WIS International, ATLANT