Crypto Exchange OKEx To Expand Operations To Malta

Announcements, News | April 12, 2018 By:

Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has announced that it is expanding its operations in Malta.

OKex is one of the largest exchanges in the world, claiming to handle over $1 billion worth of daily trades. It is the international counterpart to defunct Okcoin, which ceased operations last year because of a Chinese government ban on crypto-to-fiat trading. OKEx provides fiat-to-cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency, and derivatives trading services to global customers.

Following various meetings with the Maltese government, the company said that it has “decided to make Malta a foundation for further OKEx growth.”

“We look forward to work with Malta’s government, as it is forward-thinking and shares many of our values, the most important of which are the protection of traders, the general public, compliance with anti-money laundering and know your customer standards, and the recognition of the innovation and the importance of continuous development in the blockchain ecosystem,” OKEx CEO Chris Lee said in a stateent.

Malta is a European island located south of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea. The Maltese government has a liberal outlook towards cryptocurrencies, as it looks to attract more businesses and wealthy individuals to help expand their economy.

Silvio Schembri, Maltese Junior Minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, said that the OKEx announcement is a certificate of trust in Malta.

“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,” Schembri said. “This is just the start. Other companies will soon establish their operations in Malta.”

The news came after Binance, the world’s largest exchange by volume, announced late last month that it would be setting up an operational base in Malta.

“We are very confident we can announce a banking partnership there soon. Malta is very progressive when it comes to crypto and FinTech,” Binance CEO Zhao Changpeng said at the time. “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.”

In February, the Southern European island country revealed its plan to launch a legal government body — the Malta Digital Innovation Authority — to license crypto-related businesses. The country recently joined 21 other EU member states in signing up to the European Blockchain Partnership. The Partnership will be a “vehicle for cooperation among member states to exchange experience and expertise in technical and regulatory fields and prepare for the launch of EU-wide blockchain applications.”