Binance Is Not Authorized to Operate in Malta Says The MFSA

Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) clarified that a major cryptocurrency exchange Binance is not based in Malta.

February 22, 2020 | AtoZ MarketsMalta’s chief financial watchdog the MFSA said that it is yet to approve any Binance crypto exchange operations in the country. In their February 21 public statement, MFSA said that Binance does not have any legal authority to operate in the crypto sphere within the Authority’s jurisdiction.

Binance not authorized by the MFSA

The watchdog specifically stated that Binance stating that it’s a “Malta-based cryptocurrency” company is factually false. The MFSA added that the exchange is not subject to regulatory oversight by the MFSA.

The MFSA has made a similar statement before, even though most of the major local publications, including Malta Today, have been referring to Binance as a Malta-regulated crypto business. The regulator claims:

“Following a report in a section of the media referring to Binance as a ‘Malta-based cryptocurrency’ company, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) reiterates that Binance is not authorized by the MFSA to operate in the cryptocurrency sphere and is therefore not subject to regulatory oversight by the MFSA.”

The MFSA further emphasized that operating a crypto-related business in the country requires an MFSA licence. This requirement is under the Virtual Financial Assets Act of 2018.

Related: Binance launches fiat crypto trading in Nigeria

Where is Binance HQ located?

The issue of where Binance is officially located is not new at all. Like most cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance has always struggled to find a place to call home.

Previously, Binance went public, stating that it was launching an office in Malta in 2018. It did so after encountering pressure from Japanese regulators who forced it to relocate. At that time, Changpeng Zhao, the Binance CEO, stated that he was invited to Malta by Joseph Muscat, the Prime Minister of Malta.

He tweeted that the country would offer its support to Binance and its goals in becoming a global trailblazer in blockchain regulation. He went to look at an upcoming bill. The bill in question would be favorable to crypto businesses.

In September 2018, a financial technology arm of the Malta Stock Exchange (MSX) signed a memorandum of understanding with Binance. That memorandum aimed to kick off joint efforts for the launch of a new security token digital exchange.

Back in 2019, AtoZMarket reported the alleged police raid Binance offices in China. Binance later denied these reports saying:

“The Binance team is a global movement consisting of people working in a decentralized manner wherever they are in the world. Binance has no fixed offices in Shanghai or China, so it makes no sense that police raided on any offices and shut them down.”

As it stands now, however, whether or not Binance even has a presence within Malta is up for debate.

“This is old news” CZ responds

While initially denying to comment about the matter, Changpeng Zhao has recently come forward to discuss the issue. Binance’s own CEO explained, rather casually, that this is old news. He added that Binance’s lack of Maltese regulation has always been the case.


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