The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) claims that major cryptocurrency exchange Binance has never been approved to operate in the country.
MFSA released a public statement saying that Binance “is not authorized by the MFSA to operate in the crypto currency sphere.” The department explained that recent media stories portray Binance as a “Malta-based cryptocurrency firm,” while the exchange “may not fall within the realm of regulatory oversight.”
While major local publications such as Malta referred to Binance as a crypto business regulated by Malta, the MFSA has apparently made a similar statement before, claiming:
“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 crypto currency sphere and is therefore not subject to regulatory oversight by the MFSA.”
The MFSA further stressed that under the Virtual Financial Assets Act of 2018, operating a crypto-related business in the country requires an MFSA licence.
Binance Announces Opening Office In Malta
As reported earlier, Binance announced it was opening an office in Malta in 2018 after pressure from Japanese regulators forced it to relocate. At the time, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) said that he was invited to Malta by the government in order to look at an upcoming bill that would be favorable to crypto businesses.
A fintech arm of the Malta Stock Exchange signed a memorandum of understanding with Binance in September 2018 to jointly launch a new digital exchange security token.
But Where Does Binance Operate?
The issue of where formally Binance is located isn’t new. Reports of a police raid on presumed Binance offices in China late last year sent crypto markets into a spiral. Then, Binance denied the reports:
“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.”
Cryptolydian reported earlier that, Binance, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges with headquarters in Malta, has applied for an operating license in Singapore in an attempt to expanding its user base while complying with regulations.