The Maltese government’s plan to bring more international cryptocurrency business to booster the local economy, by positioning itself as a hospitable jurisdiction within the EU, appears to be paying off. Following Binance moving to the island just last month, Malta has now succeeded in attracting yet another exchange, Okex.
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Maltese Blockchain Ecosystem
Okex, the Chinese-run cryptocurrency exchange based in Hong Kong, has announced today that it will be expanding to the European island nation of Malta. The country’s Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, commented: “We welcome Okex, a world-leading digital exchange, to our growing blockchain ecosystem. Malta is fast becoming the jurisdiction of choice for Distributed Ledger Technology companies in the European Union and globally.”
Chris Lee, CEO of OKEx, said: “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.”
Warm Welcome to Crypto Companies
Junior Minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri (middle) with OKEx Chief Risk Officer Tim Byun (right) and Vice President Jason Lau (left)
Unlike other regions, Malta offers crypto firms with an environment where the government is not only open to their business but actively seeking it as well. For example, before making its decision Okex management was able to meet with members of the Maltese government and regulatory leaders. This allowed them to understand the country’s legislative and regulatory plans, provide written feedback and engage in open dialogue, they explained.
Tim Byun, Chief Risk Officer and Head of Government Relations of OKEx, commented: “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.”
Back in March 23, Binance revealed that it would be moving its operations and starting to recruit 200 people to work on the island as soon as possible. Okex are now establishing an entity in Malta in accordance with the expected regulations and framework and will apply for a license when it becomes available. If and when the company obtains such a license, they expect to have a full team of local management, front office staff, as well as KYC and AML officers, a representative told news.Bitcoin.com today.
Should other governments in Europe soon follow the example of Malta to foster the growth of the local crypto ecosystem? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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