Bittrex is setting up shop in Malta with the launch of Bittrex International to be based in Malta. The US exchange is among the most popular altcoin exchanges in western markets.
Bittrex International will be open to non-US investors and promises to introduce new tokens in weeks rather than months.
Chief executive Bill Shihara said: “Bittrex International’s more efficient token listing process, combined with our reliable, secure and advanced trading platform technology, will make it easy to quickly feature the newest, most innovative blockchain projects for our international partners and customers”
The new exchange offering will have no fees for token listings.
Malta, which has a uniquely crypto-friendly framework – the Malta Virtual Financial Assets Act – and is a member of the European Union. That combination is proving particular attractive to exchanges looking for a transparent and accommodating regulatory environment.
The press release states: “This international trading platform will operate within the regulatory framework established by the European Union and Maltese Government, including the Malta Virtual Financial Assets Act. The company will apply to the Malta Financial Services Authority to become a regulated Virtual Financial Asset exchange.”
Streamlined token listings
Bittrex customers on the international exchange will be required to submit to know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) procedures. These were introduced last year for all customers, with those choosing not to supply the necessary identifying identification documents restricted in the amounts they can trade.
Indeed, Malta seems to be drawing the big players in the crypto world unto itself, given that Binance has set up its global headquarters in Malta.
The Bittrex review process entails “evaluating the authenticity, innovation and quality of the token” and promises to deliver a “streamlined token approval process”.
Existing and new customers outside the US, and depending on laws in local jurisdictions, will automatically be redirected to Bittrex International (international.bittrex.com)
The Bittrex exchange was founded in 2014 but is not a regulated exchange under US securities law, hence the need to set up a different corporate entity.
Malta is the smallest member of the EU and as such has minimal leverage although does have the right to veto on certain matters. The EU is expected too bring forward its own crypto framework next year, possibly in coordination with other financial authorities around the world. Those rules would trump Malta’s and may not be as crypto-friendly.
But hey this is the era of globalisation, so Bittrex International could always move somewhere more friendly in that event. Belarus anyone?
.Altcoins today are largely in the red with many traders preferring to find safety in bitcoin. Bittrex is clearly preparing the ground for better days ahead
Gary has been writing about cryptocurrencies since 2013 and currently works as the cryptocurrency analyst at interactive investor, the UK’s second-largest online investment platform. Gary contributes for Coin Intelligence News in a personal capacity and none of his commentary should be considered investment advice. Gary is the winner of the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2018 Cryptocurrency Writer of the Year. Contact Gary on twitter at: @gary_mcfarlane