Business 14 June 2018

Gerald Fenech

Crypto exchange Binance signs MoU for Jersey move

It’s all systems go for Binance’s move to Jersey, Channel Islands. The cryptocurrency exchange recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Jersey government, in which it indicated its plans to start a GBP-to-crypto trading pair arrangement.

In a statement, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said the firm chose Jersey as its “next big step” in its global expansion plans due to “its clear and pro-crypto investment and regulatory environment.”

“With its local economy based on a major currency (GBP), and its close proximity to the UK and Western Europe, we are confident the cooperation with Jersey will not only benefit the local economy, but also form a strong operational foundation for our expansion into the rest of Europe,” Zhao added.

The irony of this development is that the Channel Islands are fiercely independent of Europe and have always bolstered links with Britain. However, they also have their own bank notes and coins and are not strictly part of the United Kingdom as they are designated as a crown colony.

Binance said that they will be creating around 40 new jobs on the island which range from coding, compliance and marketing. They are aiming to be fully compliant with the island’s financial regulations but no further details were given.

“With the setup of the fiat exchange here, there will be a lot of interest from the blockchain universe looking at Jersey. We definitely want to bring Binance Labs into this region and invest out of here,” Binance CFO Zhou Wei said.

The crypto exchange’s meteoric rise following an ICO has not, however, been entirely smooth. Japan’s regulators gave Binance an ultimatum in March, causing the exchange to search for a friendlier jurisdiction. The exchange, originally based in Hong Kong, shifted its operations to the European island nation of Malta after the Beijing government tightened its crypto regulations.

This new addition of Jersey to serve the British market may allow them to leap further ahead due to their extensive listing of crypto trading pairs, with Digital Jersey stating they will support Binance in “discussions on compliance with anti-money-laundering regulations, and to establish exchange licensing and local banking relationships.” Digital Jersey is an independent body that promotes the island’s digital sector.

“It’s no coincidence that my first official function that I’m attending as the new Minister for External Relations is a creation of a symbiotic relationship between digital and financial services,” External Relations Minister Senator Ian Gorst added.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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