Sorry, Singapore – Bybit, the world’s fourth largest crypto exchange by volume, has joined a new influx of crypto firms into Dubai with the opening of its global headquarters in the emirate, at the Dubai World Trade Center.
According to an announcement by the exchange, its headquarters "offers a variety of exclusive spaces, which will host everything from professional meet-ups to live-streaming sessions," which reflects its “open door” policy and transparency for affiliates and partners.
"We are building a cadence to bolster our presence in the region and become a trusted partner for global traders and investors,” Ben Zhou, co-founder and CEO of Bybit said. “The new office was designed with our diverse community’s needs in mind, and we will share more about the designated function rooms and exclusive workshops and activities.”
The announcement did not detail reasons why the exchange is moving its headquarters from the city-state but likely reasons would include limited opportunities for growth in retail investor customer numbers here, given the MAS' position on crypto exchanges directly advertising to this crowd, and Dubai's regulatory clarity for the space.
Bybit holds the No.2 spot among exchanges in the Middle East, according to the exchange. Bybit reached $33.5 billion in trading volume in MENA, and says it is "on track to double that in 2023."
Asia still important
Despite Bybit's move to the emirate, the exchange is still focusing on building its core Asian operations in Hong Kong, Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month, highlighting its plans to relocate part of its research and development as well as marketing teams to the city.
Bybit, founded in 2018, is also planning to apply for a license in Hong Kong under proposed rules that will come into effect in June. CEO Zhou cited Hong Kong's abundance of liquidity from institutional investors, mature capital markets, high financial literacy, and presence of avid and professional investors as reasons for their interest in the city.
Among its recent moves to grow its institutional customer base is a partnership with institutional digital asset trading technology provider Talos to expand institutional access. According to a press release earlier last month, the partnership will enable Bybit to streamline access for institutions looking to enter the crypto markets via the Talos platform.
Earlier this month, the exchange was flagged by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) as operating without registration in the country, and that it has been engaging in crypto derivatives trading services that violate the country’s laws and regulations.
This is not the first time the exchange has received a warning from Japan’s financial watchdog. In May 2021, the regulator also warned Bybit about its registration procedures.
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