The CEO of Binance cryptocurrency exchange is striking back at a report that the exchange is not licensed to operate in Malta, calling it “quite a bit of FUD”. This case about Binance operating in Malta stems from a public statement recently published by Malta’s chief financial regulatory body stating that the crypto exchange is not licensed to operate in the country.
The Curious Case Of Binance’s Operations In Malta
The question about where Binance is actually headquartered has always been a mystery. But many assumed that the exchange is based in Malta after it announced that it was setting up an office there after being forced out of Japan by regulators.
At that point, Malta Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat welcomed Binance to the country with open arms. However, the Maltese crypto-friendly leader stepped down earlier this year. Noted cryptocurrency advocate John McAfee suggested that the new Prime Minister would not allow cryptocurrency operations in Malta.
But, Binance’s chief growth officer, Ted Lin, recently acknowledged that the exchange indeed has offices based in Malta.
“We have offices in Malta for customer services, and some compliance people there, but its not the headquarters per se. It’s the spiritual headquarters. It’s a name that people think about when they think about Binance.”
However, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has published a statement affirming that Binance is “not authorized” to conduct any cryptocurrency operations in the country. As such, it is “ not subject to regulatory oversight by the MFSA”. MFSA also noted that it is currently investigating whether Binance has conducted any activities in the nation “which may not fall within the realm of regulatory oversight.”
MFSA further said:
“Admission of virtual financial assets to trading and/or for offering virtual financial assets to the public in and from Malta requires an MFSA license in terms of the Financial Assets Act (CAP 590) of 2018”
Binance CEO Responds
Following this statement from MFSA, Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao took to Twitter to clear the air. In a series of tweets, he opined that this report is “old news” and bringing it up again is “quite a bit of FUD”. He also cited that Binance has no headquarters because it is a decentralized company.
Nonetheless, this response has seemingly not answered the nagging question on where is Binance is really based. A slew of the comments below CZ’s tweet noted that every time there is a story about Binance headquarters, CZ always calls it FUD. The CEO of The Block, Mike Dudas, even pointed out that a Binance document stating that the exchange is governed by the law of Malta has since been deleted.