Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, plans to move its headquarters from Hong Kong to Malta, as well as intends to launch its own decentralized crypto-exchange.

According to Binance CEO Zhao Changpeng, the company could partner with various banks and launch fiat-to-crypto trading services, as Malta is known for its friendly attitude to fintech companies.

"After reviewing several different locations, the company decided to invest in the European nation due to its existing pro-blockchain legislation and the stability that it offers financial technology companies through its regulatory framework. With plans to substantially grow its operations, there are plans to eventually hire up to 200 people to assist their expansion," the official statement reads.

Binance has already started negotiations with one of the local banks in order to allow its customers to deposit and withdraw funds through bank accounts opened in it. The head of Binance does not mention the exact dates, but, emphasizing Malta's progressive approach to the cryptocurrency industry, he is confident that this will happen in the near future. As an example, Changpeng mentioned that he was invited to take part in the discussion of the draft law on cryptocurrency regulation on Malta.

Simultaneously, Changpeng showed little confidence in the positive outcome of the discussions with the authorities of Hong Kong. Together with six other exchanges, Binance received a letter from the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) in February, demanding to delist a number of tokens that fall under the definition of securities. Furthermore, on 23 March, the Financial Services Agency of Japan (FSA) issued a warning to Binance, reminding that it has to register as a crypto-exchange operator to serve Japanese residents. The regulator said Binance likely allowed Japanese residents to open accounts without confirming their identities, adding that the exchange would face criminal charges if it continued to do business without a license, Reuters reported.

The number of customers registered on Binance exceeded the population of Hong Kong, reaching 7.9 million accounts.