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Hong Kong virtual currency exchange to launch Malta office

Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchange operator Binance is looking to establish an office in Malta, Bloomberg News reported, citing CEO Zhao Changpeng.

Changpeng said Binance will soon launch a "fiat-to-crypto exchange" in Malta and is close to finalizing a partnership deal with the country's banks, which can provide access to deposits and withdrawals.

Earlier, Japan's Financial Services Agency issued a warning to Binance for operating in the country without a license. Changpeng noted that the company was looking to obtain a license but has now removed its staff from Japan to avoid a clash with regulators.

Binance was also one of the cryptocurrency exchanges warned by Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission not to trade cryptocurrencies without a license. Changpeng added that he was continuing talks with Hong Kong authorities but that the outcome of those discussions was uncertain, according to the news wire.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat sent a tweet March 23 welcoming Binance and saying the country aims to be "global trailblazers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses and the jurisdiction of quality and choice for world-class fintech companies."