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One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges Bitfinex is planning to change its current jurisdiction. Switzerland is considered the most probable variant.
Bitfinex, the fifth-largest cryptocurrency exchange by 24-hour trading volume, is said to have plans to leave its current base in Hong Kong and relocate its resources to Switzerland. As it was informed, the exchange is already leading negotiations with Swiss authorities on this issue. Nevetheless, Switzerland is not the only destination for Bitfinex to consider, among other possible locations is the United Kingdom.
Jean-Louis van der Velde, CEO at Bitfinex, has confirmed this information. He said: “We are looking for a new home for Bitfinex and the parent company iFinex, where we want to merge the operations previously spread over several locations.” He also confirmed the fact of considering London as a potential new home for Bitfinex, but still, Switzerland remains the company’s priority.
If everything goes successfully with this initiative, iFinex will become a new AG (or Aktiengesellschaft, which is German means “public limited company” that has its shares traded on a public stock exchange). This new entity will replace the former iFinex that is currently located in the British Virgin Islands.
It is expected that core businesses of the company would be based in Switzerland, including iFinex’s legal and finance departments and Bitfinex’s development and customer service bases. Moreover, it is very possible that van der Velde together with other managers will also transfer to Switzerland to continue working for the company.
It’s worth mentioning that iFinex is also the parent company of Tether. This subsidiary produces tether (USDT), a token pegged to the U.S. dollar. USTD is presented on several exchanges. Bitfinex has it on its list of available currencies as well. Nevertheless, experts express come doubts whether the entire process of USDT issuance was fair and transparent and whether $2.3 billion behind USDT issued by Tether are backed by real fiat money, as no external audit has ever been conducted.
Subpoenas from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) were sent to both Bitfinex and Tether. And now Bitfinex tries to be very attentive and cautious regarding regulatory requirements in Switzerland. Van der Velde also highlighted: “We want to be the most transparent of all exchanges and meet the requirements of the Swiss regulator”.
Bitfinex is not the first major Asia-based cryptocurrency exchange that is planning to move to a European jurisdiction. As we have already written, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange with a $1.7 billion daily trading volume Binance had taken a decision to relocate its headquarters to a new place.
Having received an official warning letter from the Japanese Financial Services Authority (FSA) with a demand to obtain license for continuing its operations in the country, the company began considering potential places to establish their business and opted for Malta. Moreover, Binance has shared its plans for launching Binance Chain, a decentralized digital asset exchange, in its new jurisdiction.