BitBay, the largest cryptocurrency exchange service in Poland is set to become the latest platform to move to Malta. The decision comes after a series of banking shutouts that have affected BitBay’s ability to conduct its business. The platform was founded in 2014, and it supports 11 cryptocurrencies. BitBay reportedly has more than 200 employees, 800,000 customers, and a trading volume of 125 transactions per minute. It is the latest cryptocurrency company that has announced a move to the Mediterranean Island nation in 2018.
Bank Shutout Forces Move
According to a statement on the company’s website on May 29, 2018, the decision to suspend its activities in Poland and move to Malta was due to circumstances beyond the company’s control. Banks in Poland have reportedly ceased to offer services to the company. A statement on the website reads:
“The activity of the BitBay exchange in Poland requires cooperation with Polish bank. Unfortunately, the last Polish bank ready to provide bank services undertook unilateral decision to finish the cooperation with BitBay with the effect at the end of May. In those circumstances, the continuation of providing high-quality services by BitBay exchange in Poland is no longer possible.”
The deadline for the suspension of BitBay trading services in Poland is September 17, 2018. Beyond that date, users will only be able to make withdrawals of the funds in their account but will have no option of making deposits on the platform. Access to all the functions of the BitBay platform in Poland will cease after May 31, 2018. Between the end of May and the September 2018 deadline, users are advised to create their BitBay account in Malta.
Poland’s Punitive Cryptocurrency Regulations
Safe to say that the Polish government and the country’s crypto community aren’t on the best of terms. The nation’s government has a history of negative policies against the cryptocurrency market that has led to much friction in the past. In April 2018, the Polish Finance Ministry stipulated a tax bracket of between 18 and 32 percent for cryptocurrency transactions, a ruling many crypto investors in the country described as draconian. After public outcry, the tax law was suspended in May 2018.
Earlier in 2018, the country’s central bank sponsored a $30,000 smear campaign against the cryptocurrency market. A couple of popular YouTube vloggers were commissioned to create anti-crypto propaganda videos
Malta: The Emerging Cryptocurrency Exchange Capital of the World
In contrast, Malta has recently been establishing itself as the leading crypto friendly country in the world. The country’s Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat is a huge cryptocurrency and blockchain technology proponent. The country’s government has been working in tandem with notable crypto and blockchain experts to create regulations that will enable the cryptocurrency market in Malta to flourish.
As a result, there has been an influx of prominent cryptocurrency companies into the country. Exchange behemoths like Binance and OKEx, as well as blockchain equity firm Neufund, have announced plans to move to Malta in 2018.