Deribit exchange announced on Thursday they will be relocating from the European Union (EU) to Panama citing the new AMLD5 proposals as a barrier to continue operating its offices in the Netherlands. The announcement prompts a possible end to the trading services from top crypto exchanges operating in Malta, an EU state, including Binance and OKEx. What next for crypto exchange services in the European Union?
Deribit Exchange relocates to Panama
In an official statement on their website, Deribit crypto exchange, known for its Bitcoin option assets, announced they will be relocating their offices from the Netherlands to Panama starting February 10th 2020. The report reads,
“On February 10, 2020, the cryptocurrency derivatives exchange platform that you are using via Deribit.com or related interfaces (the “Platform”) will no longer be operated by the Dutch company Deribit B.V., but by DRB Panama Inc., a 100% subsidiary of the Dutch entity.”
The statement further explained its decision to exit the European Union stating the new Anti-Money Laundering Directive 5 (AMLD5) proposal, which is expected to be implemented in its strictest form in Netherlands as the reason to leave the Union.
The exchange aims to provide free and accessible platforms to access cryptocurrency services and the latest move towards the new EU directives will set a “high barrier for entry for their customers” hence the move to Panama.
“If Deribit falls under these new regulations, this would mean that we have to demand an extensive amount of information from our current and future customers.”
The exchange also announced new KYC compliance for their existing customers. You can find the full changes here.
Binance and OKEx living on borrowed time
Two of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world are living on borrowed time as the implementation of AMLD5 in Malta, the blockchain island hosting the two companies, will set the exchanges looking for greener pastures in other countries. Larry Cermak, a cryptocurrency journalist believes “it’s only a matter of time” before the two companies move out of the EU state as the proposals start to take root.
Deribit is relocating from the EU to Panama because of 5AMLD. Only a matter of time until Binance and OKEx, both based in Malta, are forced to do the same. https://t.co/jMeFds9BjW
— Larry Cermak (@lawmaster) January 9, 2020
In December we highlighted Binance’s survival in the European Union and a possible delay in Malta implementing the AMLD5 laws which would give Binance and OKEx more time to relocate. The new rules states that exchanges will need to collect KYC on all their customers and offer the information to authorities on request which intrigues crypto investors who value their privacy.
All in all, once the AMLD5 laws are implemented, Binance and OKEx will possibly move offices to a more regulation friendly country. Will Panama become the new blockchain state for cryptocurrency companies to flock in?
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Been in the field since 2015 and he still love everything blockchain and crypto! FC Barcelona fan. Author and journalist. Follow him at @lujanodera.