Depth or Breadth: Aligned Competitive Strategies for Countries and Binance
Binance, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, announced major moves to set up operations in the European island state of Malta this summer as it continues its global expansion. Binance had stated that it secured both a bank account and partnership with a local Maltese bank. Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s CEO, also announced in an interview with Bloomberg that the company intended to allow trading of the euro on its exchange with its new location in Malta.
Binance currently stands as one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world. Based out of Shanghai, the company has surged to be one of the leaders in the crypto exchange space. As of Q1 of 2018, it had posted $150 million profit, averaged $1.5 billion in daily trading volume, and has increased its user count to 9 million. Binance had, until this announcement, remained steadfast in its identity as a crypto-to-crypto exchange. Instead, Binance offered a small group of stable cryptocurrencies such as Tether and USDT.
Zhao stated in an interview with Cointelegraph that Binance is already looking beyond Malta as it continues to expands its operations. He told the news outlet that the company has been eying Uganda and Asia as future locations where fiat-crypto trading operations will be set up. We’ve seen the negotiations with officials in Jersey in the Channel Islands, discussions with Taiwanese banks, and investment agreements with Bermuda.
These moves by Binance to establish more physical locations also reflects the growing race between various cities and countries to become the crypto capital of the world. Zhao has only praised Malta, going as far to say that it is “one of the best places” for blockchain firms. While Binance is not the first to establish operations in Malta, its move reflects the growing reputation the island has as the ‘Blockchain Island.’ A combination of a friendly business environment for crypto firms and transparent regulations has made Malta an appealing location for companies in the crypto/blockchain space. The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has even sought feedback on a Financial Instrument Test it released in April, showing how open and willing it is to work with those in the industry.