A team from Binance have signed a memorandum of understanding with officials from Jersey, an island just off the coast of Britain, with the aim of launching a crypto to pound exchange in the island.
“We have chosen Jersey to be the next big step in our global expansion strategy for its clear and pro-crypto investment and regulatory environment,” Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s founder, said before adding:
“With its local economy based on a major currency (GBP), and its close proximity to the UK and Western Europe, we are confident the co-operation with Jersey will not only benefit the local economy, but also form a strong operational foundation for our expansion into the rest of Europe.”
They are to create around 40 positions in the island, ranging from coding to marketing to compliance, with Binance aiming to be fully compliant with regulations.
“With the set up of the fiat exchange here, there will be a lot of interest from the blockchain universe looking at Jersey. We definitely want to bring Binance Labs into this region and invest out of here,” Zhou Wei, chief finance officer at Binance, said.
The world’s biggest crypto exchange has attracted significant liquidity due to Zhao’s extensive experience in working on crypto exchanges and on Wall Street.
That experience was showcased in March when Binance in effect trapped some hackers and made them lose a significant amount of money.
The meteoric rise following an ICO has not, however, been entirely smooth. Japan’s regulators gave Binance an ultimatum in March, causing the exchange to go shopping for a friendly jurisdiction.
Malta attracted their attention as they now prepare to add fiat trading pairs, with suggestions they have already secured a bank account in Malta.
This new addition of Jersey to serve the British market may allow them to leap further ahead due to their extensive listing of crypto trading pairs, with Digital Jersey stating they will support Binance in “discussions on compliance with anti-money-laundering regulations, and to establish exchange licensing and local banking relationships.”
“It’s no coincidence that my first official function that I’m attending as the new Minister for External Relations is a creation of a symbiotic relationship between digital and financial services,” External Relations Minister Senator Ian Gorst said before adding:
“This is absolutely the space where Jersey’s future is. I want to create hope for the Island’s future by a bringing together of its technological future and strength in financial services.”
If they do end-up offering British Pound deposits and withdrawals, then we may finally have a race between Coinbase and Binance.
Coinbase so far has been unchallenged in offering a fiat pipeline to cryptos and in a way being a gatekeeper through their decisions of just what coin to list.
Regulatory barriers in US have pretty much prevented new entrants, with a crypto monopoly of sorts formed in the land of the free due to endless permission slips requirements.
But as this space is global in nature, Binance may be able to challenge that position by opening the market to countless of trading pairs while being connected to the banking system.
Coinbase, however, is not standing still, going in a buying spree recently which may considerably expand their offerings. Yet Binance is flush with cash.
This potential duopoly in serving the global market might be joined by other contenders, including traditional financial services, but how it all develops while this space is still at a pretty nascent stage, remains to be seen.