Bit2C, the Israeli cryptocurrency exchange, has announced its expansion into Europe by way of a business merger. According to the announcement, the other half of the union is a company called EYOS, which is based in Gibraltar.
Vaya Con EYOS
Bit2C does not specify what EYOS does exactly, and it does not appear to have a website. The salient facts are that EYOS is a blockchain company which was established in 2017 and that it is in the last stages of receiving a distributed ledger technology licence from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission. The DLT licence enables companies to offer a range of financial services in connection with cryptocurrency.
Bit2C, established in 2013, is based in Holon and claims approximately 20,000 customers in Israel. It handled $36,613 worth of cryptocurrency trades over the last 24 hours, according to coinmarketcap.com.
It currently offers six cryptocurrencies for trading. It has not offered more because of regulatory uncertainty – specifically, uncertainty over whether certain cryptocurrencies are considered securities or not. It plans to offer more when it is licensed in both Israel and the EU.
The deal between the two firms was executed by way of a share swap arrangement.
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Distributed Ledger Licence
According to the statement, Bit2C’s aim is to increase the liquidity of the cryptocurrency market in Europe.
Bit2C CEO Eli Bejerano said: “This is a significant breakthrough in the accessibility of unique Israeli technology and the providing of professional and experienced service to all of Europe, all under a license that will enable a range of trading activities, payment options and cooperation with traditional financial institutions such as banks, credit companies and insurance companies.”
Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory which borders Spain, created its DLT licence in January 2018 after deciding in October 2017 that it wanted to attract such business. Companies must now follow nine guidelines in order to receive a licence. In March, the territory released guidelines for operating an initial coin offering legally, and in July, a local cryptocurrency exchange launched a fully legal marketplace for initial coin offerings, under this law.
Finance Magnates asked Bit2C if the fact that the UK is leaving the EU, and taking Gibraltar with it, is an issue.
Ron Tsarfaty, Bit2C’s Chief Regulation and Compliance Officer, said that as of now Gibraltar is still in the EU and offers the most regulatory certainty available and that it is not yet known how Brexit will affect financial entities. He added that Bit2C intends to expand to new territories too and that the UK is a significant market itself.