Binance, Crypto Investors to Launch a Bank in Malta
Crypto exchange Binance is working on a project to launch a decentralized bank bridging the crypto industry with conventional banking. The financial institution will be based in Malta and fundraising will be conducted under German law. Authorities in Valletta have welcomed the initiative that is expected to win support from other crypto investors as well.
Decentralized, Community-Owned Bank
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume, is exploring opportunities to launch a bank. The project, expecting support from other crypto investors, is centered on the idea to create a decentralized, community-owned financial institution, according to the trading platform.
The future Founders Bank will be based in Malta, the island nation that has established itself as a crypto-friendly destination. Binance told Bloomberg it has taken a 5 percent stake at a 133 million-euro ($155 million) pre-money valuation, alongside other anchor investors.
In essence, the new bank represents an effort to bridge the crypto industry with conventional banking. To do that, Binance and its partners need to obtain the necessary permits in Malta, where authorities have already welcomed the initiative. Moreover, the bank’s board will include the government’s blockchain advisor Abdalla Kablan, Malta Daily reported. According to the outlet, the board will be chaired by entrepreneur Michael Bianchi.
“We are honored to be chosen as the location of the first global community-owned bank,” said Silvio Schembri, junior minister for financial services, digital economy and innovation within the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta. He was quoted in a statement released by Binance on Thursday. To operate in the EU, the bank will have to acquire a license from Maltese regulators and an approval from the European Central Bank.
Founders Bank will conduct its offering through the blockchain-based equity fundraising platform Neufund and will issue its own legally-binding equity tokens. The token sale will be conducted under German regulations in collaboration with one of Europe’s major stock exchanges later this year, Binance said, without identifying the exchange.
Part of a Wider Expansion
The news about the project comes after the Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, revealed that the trading platform expects to accumulate a net profit of between $500 million and $1 billion USD this year. The exchange that was launched last year currently reports an average daily turnover of $1.5 billion and has about 10 million users.
As a result of increasing regulatory pressures in Japan and Hong Kong, Binance decided to relocate to Malta, where it intends to set up a fiat-crypto exchange with support for fiat deposits and withdrawals as well as EUR and GBP trading pairs. The exchange is not the only crypto company moving from Asia to the island. Okex, another Chinese exchange, announced in April it is setting foot in the country, and in May, the Polish Bitbay revealed its plans to move to Malta.
The small island nation, member of the European Union, is competing with destinations like Gibraltar and Switzerland for the attention of crypto businesses from around the world. Recently, the parliament in Valletta adopted new laws designed to introduce clear regulations for the country’s growing crypto industry.
The expansion of Binance includes other markets, too. Earlier in July, the company announced it is launching a fiat-crypto trading platform in Uganda. The exchange also reached an agreement with the government of Bermuda, where it wants to set up a global compliance center.
Do you expect Binance to receive approval for the project to launch a bank in Malta? Let us know in the comments section below.
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