OKEx Announces Expansion to Blockchain-Friendly Malta

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The digital asset exchange OKEX Technology Company Limited (OKEx) announced last week that it is expanding its operations to Malta.

OKEx, explained that it made the decision after company executives met with Maltese government officials to understand the country’s regulatory framework.

“We look forward to working with the Malta government as it is forward-thinking and shares many of our same values, the most important of which are protection of traders and the general public, compliance with anti-money laundering and know-your-customer standards, and recognition of the innovation and importance of continued development in the blockchain ecosystem,” said OKEx CEO Chris Lee, in a statement.

Launched by OK Group – a prominent blockchain technology entity offering next-generation financial services since 2013 – OKEx has raised USD 30 million, and currently provides over 400 token & futures trading pairs for traders.

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The company’s decision comes on the heels of another blockchain company, Binance, announcing that it would also be expanding to Malta.

Last month, news emerged that Binance CEO Zhao Changpeng is moving the company there, after regulatory pressure from first Beijing, then Hong Kong and now Tokyo. Changpeng reportedly announced that the company has set up an office in Malta to negotiate with local banks (Binance already has offices in Singapore, Japan and Taiwan). In addition to finding regulatory clarity, the move would also enable Binance to begin accepting deposits in fiat.

Malta has been pushing to become a destination for blockchain companies as other jurisdictions are restricting the new technology – Hong Kong ordered the shutdown of an initial coin offering last month.

Back in September, the island grabbed the headlines by launching a blockchain-based education certification system. Weeks later, a local company, Ledger Projects, launched a blockchain-based tool for notaries handling property transfers.

Malta also aims to become the first European country to introduce a legislative framework for distributed ledger technology.

About Ken Silva

Ken Silva is a journalist who covers the financial services industry in the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

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