Research conducted by Wall Street firm Morgan Stanley indicates that most of the virtual currency exchanges are located in the United Kingdom. However Malta occupies the leading position with regards to volume flows. This is attributed to the fact that one of the world?s largest virtual currency exchanges, Binance, recently announced that it would be shifting its headquarters in Malta.
“Binance said that it was moving away from Asia (currently registered in Hong Kong) due to more stringent regulation, especially from Japan. The third-largest exchange, OKEx, also recently announced that it was opening an office in Malta,” Sheena Shah, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, wrote in a client note.
Though the United Kingdom is home to the biggest number of digital currency exchanges, it only represents just 1% of worldwide trading volumes. Other countries with a high number of cryptocurrency exchanges include the United States and Hong Kong. Part of the reason for this is that these countries possess large financial centers, and in the case of the United States, Silicon Valley is also factor.
India currently boasts of six virtual currency exchanges but a significant number are expected to close their doors or relocate due to the fact that commercial banks in the country were recently ordered by the central bank to shut down accounts belonging to the exchanges. This is not restricted to India however as more regulators across the globe are increasing their scrutiny.
Financial Services Agency
In Japan the Financial Services Agency is understood to be pressuring digital coin exchanges to stop handling such virtual currencies as Dash (DASH, Zcash (ZEC) and Monero (XMR) as a way of preventing money laundering as well as other illegal activities. This is because these ?privacy coins? are popular with hackers and criminals since they are hard to track. Criminals were some of bitcoin?s (BTC) early adopters but they are now turning to Monero and other altcoins which are less traceable. Though there is a chance that a ban could be placed on the ?privacy coins? by the FSA, for now the regulator is relying on pressure.
However not all countries have taken a hostile attitude towards exchanges. Some countries such as Malta, Gibraltar and Switzerland have developed a welcoming stance to the nascent sector.
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