The CEO of Binance, Zhao Changpeng, said they plan to open a “fiat-to-crypto exchange” office in Malta due to regulation uncertainty.
Zhao elaborated that they “are very confident we can announce a banking partnership there soon,” and that “Malta is very progressive when it comes to crypto and fintech.” As evidence of Malta’s crypto friendliness, Zhao was invited by the Maltese government to review a pending bill that favored crypto businesses. The prime minster of the European island-state, Joseph Muscat, also tweeted “Welcome to #Malta @binance, [w]e aim to be the global trailblazers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses.” The announcement comes as the world’s largest crypto exchange, located in Hong Kong, is beginning to face larger regulatory pressure in Asia.
China was one of the first to put larger pressure on crypto businesses. Recently, Japan’s Financial Services Agency issued a warning to Binance for operating without a license. Binance had an office in Japan and was in the process of obtaining a license, but pulled its staff to avoid a clash with regulators. Binance is currently engaged in talks with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, whom issued warnings to exchanges to not trade digital assets without a license, but the exchange is unsure of what will be the outcomes of the talks. As another risk hedge, Binance also announced plans to launch a decentralized exchange in the coming months, but that the technology is not ready to replace their current infrastructure.
Search for regulation friendly economic zones
Hong Kong grew to its current financial dominance because of its relatively relaxed laws and open markets compared to its neighbors. However, as crypto begins to take on the properties of early financial infrastructure, Hong Kong and other financial power houses are beginning to reverse their history and tighten the regulations on crypto businesses. Perceptive of a competitive advantage, Malta is launching very pro-crypto regulations such as the Malta Digital Innovation Authority in an attempt to become the new financial capital for crypto related businesses.
To date, cryptocurrency exchanges and governments have been playing a cat and mouse game of regulating and avoiding regulations by creating new definitions and moving bases of operations. This cat and mouse game is not new to governments since it is also being played out with corporations avoiding taxes and different countries lowering their tax rates to attract said businesses. Governments are currently trying to adapt with calls for tax harmonization, as they eventually will attempt to do with cryptocurrency exchanges. However, regulation harmonization could see difficulties as decentralized exchanges develop and eliminate the need for centralized offices and databases to exchange cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, the fiat-to-crypto exchange phase will still be a bottleneck that requires a point of centralization to integrate with the old financial system.
Dash bypasses the need for regulation friendly zones for exchanges
A solution to the need for a centralized fiat-to-crypto exchange is to receive direct payment in cryptocurrency in exchange for goods and services. In order to do this, the compensation has to be easy and inexpensive to exchange ownership, accepted by others, and maintain its value. Dash is able to come very close to meeting those goals.
Dash has some of the lowest fees and fastest transaction times in the crypto space. In addition, the community has clear plans on how to scale in order to maintain those benefits. Dash also has partners and merchants around the world that accept payment in Dash, which allow easy spending of Dash. In addition, Dash is one of the most qualified cryptocurrencies to reduce volatility in the future. These features facilitate the ability for people to exchange goods and services directly for Dash and thus eliminate the need for centralized exchanges to move from fiat into cryptocurrency.