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The Kingdom of Exchanges Accounts Only 1% of Trading Volumes

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 1 min read

The majority of cryptocurrency exchanges (more than 20) are based in the UK, but the vast amount of volume flows through Malta, a Morgan Stanley, an American investment bank, research showed.

Source: iStock/clubfoto

The top five countries by number of exchanges are the UK, Hong Kong, USA, Singapore and Turkey, whereas Malta, Belize, Seychelles, the US and South Korea take the trading volume lead, Business Insider reported. However, the UK with the largest number of exchanges accounts for just 1% of global trading volumes, Morgan Stanley notes.

According to the bank, the majority of volumes flows through Malta, thanks to the recent announcement by Binance that they are expanding there, having even been invited by the island nation’s government officials to give their opinion on new, crypto-friendly regulations.

Morgan Stanley analyst Sheena Shah and her team wrote in a note to clients last week, “The largest exchange called Binance announced intentions to set up headquarters there, so if we take that company out, Malta would be much further down the list.” However, Binance has not announced yet whether it has moved to Malta already.

Although Malta and Belize are listed among leaders by trade volume, they are only 22nd and 24th by the number of registered companies respectively – a discrepancy easily explained by the fact that Binance is moving to Malta and OKEx is officially registered in Belize. In April, OKEx also announced that they will be expanding to Malta.

Shah and team added, “Regulatory certainty [in countries] is part of the attractiveness for the companies so they can plan for the future as they know what to expect. Low taxes are a benefit.”

The study was done based on volume data from Coinmarketcap and company registration info listed on the websites of the respective exchanges.