Major Cryptocurrency Exchange Bitfinex Weighs Move to Switzerland

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Bitfinex, one of the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, is reportedly planning to move out of its existing base in Hong Kong over to Switzerland.

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

Bitinfex has also been connected 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'.

The Bitfinex chief pointed to «very constructive discussions» with Swiss authorities, including:

We're looking for a new permanent home for Bitfinex and the parent company iFinex, where we want to merge the operations previously spread over many locations.

The world's fifth biggest crypto exchange with nearly half a billion in trading within the past day, a successful move by Bitfinex could establish its parent company iFinex Switzerland as a new AG (Aktiengesellschaft), or German for a public limited company that sees its shares traded on a public stock market. IFinex is presently situated in the British Virgin Islands.

Further, the significant move from Asia to Europe would also reportedly see iFinex's legal and finance departments run from Switzerland, along with Bitfinex's growth and customer service bases that would also shift to Switzerland.

Bitfinex has seen lots of criticism for its link to Tether, an iFinex subsidiary that problems tether (USDT), a dollar-pegged token that regularly trades on a number of global exchanges including Bitfinex. Tether's relation with an auditor — tasked to audit the organization's balance sheets and almost 2.3 billion USDT tokens in flow — broke down in January this year, raising the vital question of whether the token is backed by actual fiat US dollars.

Both Bitfinex and Tether also have received subpoenas from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), scrutiny which now sees Bitfinex looking to comply with all regulatory requirements in Switzerland.

We want to be the most transparent of all trades and fulfill the requirements of the Swiss regulator.

Bitfinex is now the second major Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange known to want to exit the jurisdiction in the area of a week. As mentioned previously, Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced its foray into establishing a foundation in the European country of Malta which is undergoing its endeavor to become the world's 'blockchain island'.