Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx announced on July 19 that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Malta Stock Exchange MSX to establish a security token trading platform in the European Island. The new joint venture OKMSX is expected to go live and start operating on a global scale by the first quarter of 2019. The important announcement is believed to reinforce Malta’s position in the crypto world, as a digital innovation nest, and a global hub for fintech and Blockchain ventures.
Joint Efforts to Launch a Security Token Exchange
The medium blog post shared by OKEx reveals that the partnership signed in Valletta will help the firm profit from MSX’s 26 years’ long experience of operating as a regulated stock exchange, conducting client’s due diligence, and ensuring regulatory compliance of its business operations.
Baptized OKMSX, the new joint venture will reportedly operate as an institutional grade security tokens exchange and will be open to clients worldwide. However, the blog post failed to mention the conditions to access the future service, and whether non-accredited investors would be able to trade security tokens or not.
OKEx also outlined that the announcement goes hand in hand with Malta’s “blockchain island” initiative. As part of it, Silvio Schembri, Malta’s Junior Minister of Financial Services Digital Economy and Innovation, tweeted last June, that the Maltese parliament unanimously approved three bills aimed at enticing more blockchain ventures to establish offices in the island. Passage of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill, the Virtual Financial Assets Bill, and the Technology Arrangements and Services Bill set the country’s sights on initiating more fluid establishment procedures, helping promote a business-friendly reputation, and creating a vibrant economy around protective and comprehensive legal procedures.
Star Xu, the CEO of OKCoin, launched OKEx back in 2014. The crypto-to-crypto only exchange lists hundreds of tokens and cryptocurrencies and offers futures trading pairs as well. As of press time and according to coinmarketcap, OKEx is currently the largest cryptocurrencies exchange by trade volume, with over $1.27 billion during the last 24 hours.
Another Blockchain Exchange to Establish Business in Malta
In April 2018, the exchange platform already revealed its plans to start expanding in Malta, thanks to the “country’s comprehensive blockchain initiatives” and supportive regulatory framework towards Blockchain technology.
Back then, the firm has published a press release, revealing a meeting with the Maltese government to engage in an open dialogue with the regulatory authorities in the country. The meeting ended up with OKEx establishing new Offices in Malta, and announcing its intention to hire local staff by the end of Q3 2018.
Binance, the second largest exchange on the list, has already moved to Malta in March 2018, after a Japanese governmental crackdown has targeted the firm among others.
Moreover, the Polish cryptocurrencies exchange BitBay announced its intention to move to the island last May. The exchange explained that the last Polish Bank that was collaborating with the firm has undertaken a unilateral decision to end its cooperation and that the choice of Malta has been motivated by Malta’s reputation of being “cryptocurrency friendly” as opposed to Poland.