Binance “not authorised” to operate in Malta

Malta’s Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has stated that cryptocurrency exchange Binance is “not authorised” to operate in Malta.

According to an official statement, the MFSA said Binance was not subject to regulatory oversight.

It stated: “The Authority is however assessing if Binance has any activities in Malta which may not fall within the realm of regulatory oversight.

“Admission of virtual financial assets to trading and/or for offering virtual financial assets to the public in and from Malta requires an MFSA licence in terms of the Virtual Financial Assets Act (CAP 590) of 2018.”

A report from February 2019 claimed that Binance was “strategically headquartered” in Malta after being banned from operating in China.

The move came after the Maltese government passed laws providing a regulatory framework for businesses operating within the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries.

Three bills were established including rules for Initial Coin Offerings, exchange businesses and general protocols for businesses working within the industry.

However, recent developments bring into question how far reaching the set of regulatory frameworks actually are.

Binance denies being based in Malta

Binance CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao snapped back at the MFSA’s statement by claiming that “Binance.com is not headquartered or operated in Malta”.

He added: “There are misconceptions some people have on how the world must work a certain way, you must have offices, HQ, etc. But there is a new world with blockchain now. Again, some of our community understands this, and some don’t. Hence, lots of confusion.

“Binance has a number of regulated entities around the world, either operated by our partners or by Binance.com directly. We work closely with regulators and comply with the rules in the places where we operate.

“Binance.com has always operated in a decentralised manner as we reach out to our users across more than 180 nations worldwide. As well as pushing the envelope in experimenting how to become a true DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation).”

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