Two years after former prime minister Joseph Muscat announced cryptocurrency exchange Binance was heading to Malta, the financial regulator has distanced itself from the company. 

In a statement on Friday, the MFSA said Binance was not authorised to operate in the cryptocurrency sphere and is not subject to regulatory oversight by it. 

The MFSA said it was assessing whether Binance has any activities in Malta which may not fall within the realm of regulatory oversight. 

It reminded that the admission and trading of virtual financial assets like cryptocurrencies requires an MFSA license. 

Binance was similiarly quick to distance itself from the island following a Times of Malta article describing it as a Malta-based cryptocurrency company. According to the Malta Business Registry, Binance has registered two companies in Malta.  

In a tweet, Binance founder Changpeng Zhao said his company is not headquartered or operated in Malta. 

"Binance has a number of regulated entities around the world, either operated by our partners or by directly. We work closely with regulators and comply with the rules in the places where we operate", he said in a further tweet. 

Mr Zhao did not say where the company operated. 

In July 2018, the government passed laws providing a regulatory framework for businesses operating in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. 

The three bills establish a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, blockchain and distributing ledger technology.

That same month, the MFSA warned blockchain-based companies that they had to wait before they can apply for approvals and authorisations in the country.

Shortly after, Binance signed a memorandum of understanding with the stock exchange to launch a new exchange for security token trading. 

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.