- Sam Bankman-Fried said FTX is moving its HQ from Hong Kong to the Bahamas because of the Caribbean country’s crypto framework.
- The FTX CEO indicated the move isn’t related to China’s declaration that crypto-related transactions are illegal.
- The Bahamas passed landmark legislation in late 2020 to regulate the trading of digital assets.
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Crypto exchange FTX has relocated its headquarters from Hong Kong to the Bahamas after planning the move for some time, its boss Sam Bankman-Fried said, rejecting the idea China’s crypto ban played a part.
FTX had been considering the Bahamas for a while, as it is one of the first countries to roll out comprehensive regulation for cryptocurrencies, the company’s founder and CEO told Bloomberg in a Friday interview.
The crypto exchange has registered a subsidiary in the Bahamas, which brought in a legal framework for services for trading digital tokens in December with the Digital Assets and Registered Exchanges Act.
Another factor is the Bahamas “has emerged from COVID lively, safe, and without quarantine,” Bankman-Fried flagged in a tweet.
News of the move came shortly after China declared all crypto-related transactions illegal and banned foreign exchanges from providing services to mainland residents. Crypto exchanges Binance and Huobi scrambled to cut ties with Chinese users after the ban.
But Bankman-Fried indicated FTX’s decision to leave Hong Kong – seen as increasingly under the sway of Beijing – had nothing to do with that development.
“This has been something which has been in the works for a while, and has been taking place for a while, and was not particularly in response to any very recent news,” the 29-year-old crypto billionaire told Bloomberg.
China’s edict caused somewhat of a slump in the crypto market Friday, but the price reaction was muted in comparison with that following previous clampdowns. Bankman-Fried said that from a price point of view, China’s move wouldn’t have as much of an impact as some fear.
The FTX boss said he hopes there will be action by regulators around the world to ensure consumer protection and transparency, in a way that could support institutional involvement.
“There is a risk that it takes a different direction, and that instead you see regulation coming out that effectively shuts down large swaths of the sector,” he said.
“I think that it would surprise me if that happened in a sort of coordinated way across the globe. But it’s always a possibility.”
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