Dutch Derivatives Exchange Deribit to Move to Crypto-Friendly Panama

Deribit will operate out of Panama starting Feb. 10, citing the Netherlands’ presumed adoption of “very strict” anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

AccessTimeIconJan 9, 2020 at 8:02 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 3:05 a.m. UTC
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Deribit is moving to warmer waters, citing regulatory concerns.

Announced Thursday, the Amsterdam-based crypto derivatives exchange will operate out of Panama as DRB Panama Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of current platform Deribit B.V., beginning Feb. 10. 

The company claimed the Netherlands’ presumed adoption of “very strict” anti-money laundering (AML) regulations applied to cryptocurrency firms spurred the trans-Atlantic voyage.

“If Deribit falls under these new regulations, this would mean that we have to demand an extensive amount of information from our current and future customers,” the exchange wrote in a blog post

Rumors concerning Deribit’s position within the Netherlands began in October 2019 following CEO John Jansen’s appearance on the Flippening podcast. Over the winter months, numerous Dutch crypto firms engaged in a back and forth with Dutch regulators over the nation’s self-guided implementation of the EU’s 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD 5).

“We believe that crypto markets should be freely available to most, and the new regulations would put too-high barriers for the majority of traders, both regulatory and cost-wise,” Deribit wrote. 

Surprisingly, additional know-your-customer (KYC) regulations were also announced by the exchange Thursday. U.S. customers are still barred from operating on the exchange, which does not process fiat currency.

CoinDesk has reached out for comment and will update this piece as necessary.

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