Bitfinex In Talks With Swiss Authorities

Bitfinex In Talks With Swiss Authorities

It looks like Hong Kong exchanges are in a hurry to escape regulators’ scrutiny. It was this week that Binance finally completed its moving from Hong Kong to Malta and now it is clear that Bitfinex is about to follow its footsteps.

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It looks like Hong Kong exchanges are in a hurry to escape regulators’ scrutiny. It was this week that Binance finally completed its moving from Hong Kong to Malta and now it is clear that Bitfinex is about to follow its footsteps.

The Swiss newspaper Handelszeitung reports that Bitfinex is negotiating with Swiss authorities about its relocation. These days European countries are friendlier than others towards crypto assets so this should not come as a surprise. Handelszeitung also notes that even though Switzerland is on the top of Birfinex’s list, the company is also considering London as a potential alternative.

To back its statement the news outlet cites the chief executive officer of Bitfinex Jean-Louis van der Velde. Van der Velde along with other representatives of the company have attended “several meetings” with the Swiss Secretariat for International Financial Affairs. There have been also talks between the head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research Johann Schneider-Ammann and the currently Hong Kong-based exchange. Since the beginning of the year, Schneider-Ammann has been publicly speaking of how Switzerland wishes to develop a crypto-friendly regulatory framework and hopefully become “crypto nation”.

Jean-Louis van der Velde notably stated, “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.” Bitfinex is currently the fifth largest online crypto marketplace in terms of daily trading volumes – approximately $500 million. If Switzerland indeed becomes Bitfinex’s next home this would mean that the parent company iFinex Switzerland could turn into a public limited company, meaning it can trade its stocks on the market. At the moment, iFinex headquarters are located in the British Virgin Islands.

Though it is not yet clear whether Bitfinex is entirely abandoning Hong Kong it is possible that all of its departments settle in Switzerland. This would mean that its legal and finance departments would have to comply with Swiss and European legislation. “We want to be the most transparent of all exchanges and meet the requirements of the Swiss regulator,” van der Velde said.

It is just a matter of time and we will see whether the moves by Binance and Bitfinex are worth the hassle.