Exchange Bitfinex Weighs Move to Switzerland or should it be Malta?

Bitfinex, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is reportedly planning to move out of its current base in Hong Kong over to Switzerland.

German-language Swiss newsweekly Handelszeitung is reporting that Hong Kong-based Bitfinex is already in talks with Swiss authorities over a move to Europe. Switzerland is at the top of the list of potential destinations while London is also being considered as an alternative, the report added.

The publication directly cites Bitfinex CEO Jean-Louis van der Velde in revealing the potential move, with ‘several meetings’ between Bitfinex officials and Switzerland’s State Secretariat for International Financial Affairs (SIF) already having taken place. Bitinfex has also been in contact with Johann Schneider-Ammann, head of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. Speaking at a conference earlier this year, Schneider-Ammann has previously called on Switzerland to further its industry-friendly regulatory climate to become the world’s ‘crypto nation’.

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888 looks at Malta Gaming Authority

888 has applied for a gaming licence in Malta due to Brexit uncertainties over Gibraltar.

The Gibraltar-based company is concerned about the impact of the UK’s departure from the European Union on the British Overseas Territory, which is home to many of the world’s leading e-gaming and sports betting firms.

Around 25% of Gibraltar’s GDP is generated by the gambling industry, but as many workers actually live across the border in Spain, there are fears that an end to freedom of movement could cause problems.

Outlining its fears, 888 said it is “proceeding with its backup plan” of obtaining a gaming licence in Malta. It also said it is establishing a server farm in Ireland so that it can “continue to serve European markets with no disruption to its business”.

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Coinbase announced ERC20 support

Coinbase announced today it’s intention to add ERC20 support to several of its suite of products.

Historically, Coinbase announcements have caused huge retail influxes of retail investors, erratic price swings, and even allegations of market manipulation. That’s why it was a surprise today when Coinbase‘s latest announcement came not with a bang but a bearish whimper. Prices are down across the board today and there has been very little reaction to Coinbases momentous announcement. Whether or not the market chooses to react in the next 24 hours, one thing is for sure. Coinbase’s addition of ERC20 support will have wide-reaching effects around the cryptocurrency markets for years to come and cannot be overlooked.

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Ladbrokes can’t recover $100M tax payment

It’s not often that someone wins against the taxman. Tax collectors are notorious for almost always making sure they cross all their t’s and dot all their i’s. This case wouldn’t prove to be the exception, either.

First, it’s necessary to paint the background. A 2008 tax loophole was in place that allowed corporations to take a tax write off in relation to loans between it and a third party. The loophole was closed the same, leading to a number of businesses being forced to settle their tax accounts. In 2015, Ladbrokes Coral was one of the businesses, and begrudgingly paid its outstanding tax debt of £71 million (US$100 million). After making the payment, the large UK sportsbook appealed the decision to the Upper Tribunal of the Tax and Chancery Chamber (UTTCC).

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Binance moving to Malta

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by traded value, is seeking a fresh start in the Mediterranean.

The company, founded last year in Hong Kong, is planning to open an office in Malta, Chief Executive Officer Zhao Changpeng said in an interview. Binance will soon start a “fiat-to-crypto exchange” on the European island nation, and is close to securing a deal with local banks that can provide access to deposits and withdrawals, he said, without providing a timeframe.

“We are very confident we can announce a banking partnership there soon,” Zhao said. “Malta is very progressive when it comes to crypto and fintech.”

Regulators from China to the U.S. have been cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges since last year, making it difficult for venues like Binance to find a permanent base. The company had an office in Japan and was trying to get a license to operate there, but decided to remove its staff to avoid a clash with local regulators, Zhao said. Japan’s Financial Services Agency issued a warning to the exchange on Friday for operating without approval.

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