Polish cryptocurrency exchange BitBay is moving to Malta because it can’t open a bank account in its homeland.
BitBay, established in 2014, offers 29 cryptocurrencies for trading and handles $9.4 million in customer money (according to coinmarketcap.com), making it the largest such business in the country.
The last bank willing to work with cryptocurrency businesses decided to end its working relationship with the exchange, according to a statement published on the BitBay website, and so it can no longer continue to conduct business in the country.
The statement says that customers will no longer be able to process Polish zlotys after the 31st of May, and from the 17th of September the company will not be operational in Poland at all.
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The Polish establishment has been sending mixed messages regarding its acceptance of cryptocurrency. The country’s biggest credit rating agency, which is owned by several major Polish banks, uses blockchain technology, and the government funds a blockchain development centre. Reportedly, someone there is working on a crypto-zloty.
On the other hand, we have this situation with the banks. In February, a Polish news source discovered that the Polish central bank paid a popular YouTube personality to record an anti-cryptocurrency message – specifically, $30,000 to Marcin Dubiel to post a video called “I LOST ALL THE MONEY?!”, according to money.pl. The video features a scene where the protagonist is embarrassed at a restaurant when he cannot pay for his date’s meal with cryptocurrency. She storms out, telling him that it’s not real money.
Malta, on the other hand, wants to attract cryptocurrency businesses to its shores and has already been successful in nabbing some of the biggest. The government had been promising to set up regulations for the industry, and last week made good with the publishing of three new laws.
The statement says that Malta was decided upon after many months of analysis, and fruitful discussions with the government of the Republic of Malta.