Binance Moves to Malta Amid Fears of a Japanese CrackdownMar 24, 2018, 9:59PM
Japanese financial regulators issued a warning to Binance. Soon after, the company closed its Japanese office and moved operations to Malta.
The Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) has decided to crack down on Binance, a popular digital asset exchange based in Hong Kong. In response, the company has closed its Tokyo office and is planning to open a new office in Malta. The announcement of these events, given the massive popularity of the Binance exchange, caused a slight drop in the price of Bitcoin, but the value loss has since been recouped.
Binance is the world's largest crypto exchange by trade volume and receives approximately 9% of its traffic from Japan. The FSA has issued a warning to the company for operating without a proper license. Licensing is already essential in Japan because Japanese authorities consider Bitcoin a legal tender, and exchanges must comply with the regulations that the FSA already has in place.
Zhao Changpeng, the CEO of Binance, has acknowledged receipt of the warning, stating in a tweet published Thursday: "Our lawyers called JFSA immediately and we will find a solution." Meanwhile, however, the company has decided to close its Tokyo office and move operations to Malta on the premise that the Mediterranean island has a more progressive attitude towards cryptocurrency.
Binance's decision to leave Japan led to a slight drop in the market cap of Bitcoin following a Nikkei report suggesting the company may face criminal charges resulting from its office closure. These rumors turned out to be false according to a statement published by the JFSA on Friday. The price of Bitcoin has since recovered.
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