Business

Gerald Fenech

Polish crypto exchange BitBay announces move to Malta

The Maltese cryptocurrency space got another considerable boost of late when it was announced that BitBay, the largest crypto exchange in Poland, has decided to move its operations to the Mediterranean island. This move, although not that ground breaking, follows in the wake of major relocations such as those of Binance, OKEx and DQR who have all announced that they are setting up their operations in crypto-friendly Malta.

On Tuesday, BitBay announced that it is suspending trading activities in Poland due to non-cooperation of banks. The exchange will instead be conducted by a new supplier in Malta, where laws are much friendlier to the crypto space. In fact, the Maltese government has just published three bills in parliament that deal with blockchain and the cryptocurrency exchange markets last week.

BitBay said its Polish operations was contingent upon cooperation with the national banks; however, the last Polish bank that BitBay had been working with decided to halt its business with the crypto exchange, effective at the end of May.

As a result, BitBay said that it will terminate its user contracts to provide services whilst observing a one-month notice period that expires on September 17. After 31 May, users will not be able to access their accounts in Polish zlotys although all other exchange functions will remain active. After the notice period expires on September 17, users will only be able to withdraw funds and all trading activities on the Polish exchange will be suspended.

BitBay also announced that users would be able to create a new account once the company’s operations resume in Malta. It also announced that the exchange will be conducted by a new supplier but will continue to use the bitbay.net domain name as well as the BitBay trademark.

BitBay’s relocation comes in the wake of certain hostile decisions by the Polish government towards the cryptocurrency industry in general. Although the country still officially recognizes digital currency mining and trading, the government’s stance with regards to crypto has become much more critical of late.

Several weeks ago, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) issued a tender for a social media campaign addressing the risks associated with cryptocurrencies, pyramid schemes and foreign exchange trading. And in February, the Polish Central Bank paid around $25,000 to produce an anti-crypto video in partnership with the Polish YouTube partner network Gamellon, Google Ireland Ltd. and Facebook Ireland Ltd.

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