Bitfinex Planning to Move to Switzerland
Hong Kong based cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex is planning to move to Switzerland. The exchange already in talks with Swiss authorities over the planned move.
This makes it the second major Hong Kong-based exchange after Binance seeking to move out of Hong Kong.
London is also in the sights as a possible new home for Bitfinex according to a German publication Handelszeitung although Switzerland in the top choice for the management.
Bitfinex has reportedly held several meetings with the State Secretariat for International Financial Affairs, the publication says citing Bitfinex CEO Jean-Louis van de Velde.
Senior officials in the Swedish government have previously voiced their intentions to make the country a crypto-nation.
The management team is said to be planning to set up in Zug, an affluent municipality in Switzerland that also hosts several other cryptocurrency exchanges. Start ups such as Shapeshift and Xapo as well the Ethereum Foundation are located here.
iFinex, Bitfinex’s parent company is reportedly seeking to bring its operations into one location. The parent company is currently located in the British Virgin Islands.
If successful, the move could see legal and finance departments together with development and customer service teams operating under one roof. Operations are currently spread over several locations around the world.
Bitfinex was embroiled in controversy earlier this year after it emerged that it was linked to Tether, the company issuing dollar backed Tether tokens (USDT). There were allegations that Tether, iFinex’s subsidiary did not in fact have dollar reserves as it claimed and was effectively artificially pumping prices of Bitcoin.
Bitfinex was subpoenaed by US authorities at the time.
Tether’s auditor severed relations with the company in January leaving many to guess the state of affairs at the company.
Bitfinex, it seems is now intent on complying with Swiss regulations as it seeks to avoid the same pitfalls it experienced in the US.
“We want to be the most transparent of all exchanges and meet the requirements of the Swiss regulator,” van de Velde said.
“We are looking for a new permanent home for Bitfinex and the parent company iFinex, where we want to merge the operations previously spread over several locations,” Handelszeitung cited Bitfinex officials as saying.
The move could possibly see iFinex registered as a publicly traded company.
Bitfinex has a market capitalisation of $741,452,755 according to CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin dominates transactions on the platform at over 45% and a 24-hour volume of $334,683,000. The exchange is ranked fifth by market cap according to CoinMarketCap.
Binance is Also Moving
Binance also recently expressed its intention to shift its operations to Malta. Japanese authorities recently ordered the exchange to shut down for operating without a license.
Malta is seeking to attract cryptocurrency exchanges to its jurisdiction as it seeks to be a major centre for cryptocurrencies. It is drafting a legal framework that will create a conducive environment for cryptocurrencies.
Binance’s CEO has even been invited to give his input on the proposed legislation.
Chinese authorities have been cracking down on cryptocurrencies which remain banned in mainland China.