Cryptocurrency exchange Okcoin may soon be opening its doors wider to crypto traders in Malta and the Netherlands following approval from key regulators.
In a Thursday announcement, Okcoin said it had secured formal registration from the central bank in the Netherlands and secured "in principle" approval for a virtual financial assets license from the Malta Financial Services Authority. In addition, the exchange has obtained a money transmitter license for the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.
The regulatory benchmarks in Europe are part of Okcoin’s plans to partner with local banks and payment providers to minimize regulation risks and make it easier for customers to purchase crypto with the euro. The exchange has been providing Dutch residents with crypto-to-crypto trading since 2018, and registered with the country’s central bank as a crypto service provider in May 2020.
“With these licenses, we will continue growing our presence aggressively in Europe and adding payment rails and banking partnerships,” said Okcoin CEO Hong Fang. "Europe is a big focus for our global growth plans, and we have added almost 25 team members in 2021 to better serve our customers in this region."
Founded in 2013, Okcoin is one of the world’s oldest crypto exchanges and has steadily expanded to now serve customers in more than 185 countries. Though its headquarters are based in the United States, last year Okcoin moved into Singapore after it had also secured regulatory approval in Japan.
Related: Crypto exchange OKCoin taps FIS subsidiary Worldpay to lead global expansion
Many crypto and blockchain firms have set up operations in Malta, expecting the country would provide favorable regulations within a European Union member. In the Netherlands, however, officials called for a complete ban on mining, trading, or holding Bitcoin last month.