Europe is becoming the new go-to place for cryptocurrency exchanges looking for a new home. Coming after recent news that Binance is moving to the European island of Malta, it’s now being reported that Bitfinex is planning to relocate in Switzerland.
According to a recent article from Handelszeigung (an English translation by Iota News is available here), dozens of smaller cryptocurrency companies have settled in Switzerland in recent months. Switzerland has become a well-established crypto-hotspot, with the valley around the city of Zug becoming known as “Crypto Valley.”
Prominent businesses already stationed in Crypto Valley include Ethereum, Monetas, Bitcoin Suisse, Xapo, Shapeshift, ConsenSys, and Tezos, as well as other lesser known cryptocurrency projects.
Switzerland is becoming appealing for cryptocurrency-based companies because the country has a track record of having friendly business regulations and the country itself holding a stable financial position.
Jean Louis van der Velde, the head of Bitfinex reportedly confirmed these recent reports, stating: “We are looking for a new domicile for Bitfinex and the parent company iFinex, where we want to merge the operations previously spread over several locations.”
Handelszeigung reported that “there have already been several meetings with the State Secretariat for International Financial Affairs (SIF) and an exchange with Federal Councilor Johann Schneider-Ammann, the head of the Department of Economic Affairs.”
With regulations across the world appearing to tighten, companies have been on the move looking for countries with better track records. Bitfinex is not the only cryptocurrency exchange looking at Crypto Valley; in the last few weeks, Crypto Valley has received interest from exchanges in Asia, Europe, and Central America.
Crypto Valley is likely to experience the effect that tech giants such as Google had in Silicon Valley. By drawing in a major cryptocurrency company like Bitfinex, it could have a domino effect and allow the crypto business ecosystem to continue growing; having a major company in place would make the particular region more attractive to other related businesses.
This reported move by Bitfinex seems to follow a recent trend of cryptocurrency exchanges aiming for transparency and regulatory compliance; Bitfinex has explicitly expressed their intention of meeting all the requirements of Swiss regulators.
This follows Binance’s recent announcement of their goal to move an office to Malta as well as Poloniex, a US-based exchange that has recently expressed intentions to follow SEC regulations. This coming after another recent announcement of Poloniex being acquired by a Goldman Sachs-backed startup, Circle.