Bankman-Fried’s Crypto Exchange FTX Leaves Hong Kong for Bahamas
Crypto-derivatives exchange FTX is now headquartered in the Bahamas.
The move, confirmed via email by an FTX spokeswoman, followed an announcement Monday that FTX Trading Ltd.’s Bahamian subsidiary, FTX Digital Markets, has been registered by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas as a digital assets business, and that Ryan Salame, former head of over-the-counter at Alameda Research, had been appointed as the CEO of FTX Digital Markets.
The proactive stance taken by the Bahamas and its regulatory bodies on cryptocurrencies was one of the primary reasons for the move to the Bahamas from Hong Kong, Blockworks reported Thursday, citing comments from FTX Founder and Chief Executive Officer Sam Bankman-Fried.
The move comes as regulatory issues become a bigger factor for the cryptocurrency industry. Not only are U.S. officials looking to police the sector more closely, but China’s central bank on Friday declared all crypto-related transactions illegal, furthering a months-long crackdown. Thailand, South Korea and the U.K. are also among countries that have recently been scrutinizing crypto more closely.
“We are committed to maintaining a close working relationship with local regulators to help promote the growth of crypto and we are further committing to providing all our clients with a safe, trustworthy and compliant exchange,” FTX spokeswoman Natalie Tien said via email Friday. “As jurisdictions roll out comprehensive crypto regulatory regimes, we are excited to take part. In addition to this, we are prioritizing offices in jurisdictions without travel restrictions.”
Bankman-Fried is currently in the U.S. but will be going to the Bahamas in early October, Tien said, and he “will still be traveling in between places.”
FTX is the second-biggest derivatives exchange by 24-hour open interest, according to CoinGecko.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.