Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by traded value, is planning to open an office in Malta, Bloomberg reported.
The Hong Kong-based company 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, Chief Executive Officer Zhao Changpeng said.
“We are very confident we can announce a banking partnership there soon,” Zhao said.
“Malta is very progressive when it comes to crypto and fintech,” he added.
Malta is looking for ways to become a hub for digital-asset ventures.
“Welcome to #Malta @binance,” Joseph Muscat, the country’s prime minister, tweeted on Friday. “We aim to be the global trailblazers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses.”
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 -JM @SilvioSchembri https://t.co/3qtAQjOpuQ— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) March 23, 2018
The news comes after Japan’s Financial Services Agency issued a warning to the exchange on Friday for operating without approval.
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.
Binance is also planning to launch a decentralized exchange in the coming months.