FTX Moves Headquarters From Hong Kong to Bahamas

The move comes as regulators around the world are stepping up their scrutiny of cryptocurrencies.

Sep 24, 2021 at 4:07 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 27, 2021 at 8:36 p.m. UTC

Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange FTX has officially moved its headquarters from Hong Kong to the Bahamas, an FTX spokesperson confirmed to CoinDesk on Friday.

  • On Sept. 20, FTX announced that its Bahamian subsidiary, FTX Digital Markets, had been granted regulatory approval in the Bahamas as a digital assets business, and named Ryan Salame to lead the unit.
  • Regulators worldwide have been increasing their focus on cryptocurrencies lately, with the latest instance being China’s central bank declaring all virtual currency-related activities illegal.
  • “FTX is committed to maintaining a close working relationship with local regulators to help promote the growth of crypto and is furthering its commitment to providing all our clients with a safe, trustworthy and compliant exchange,” an FTX spokesperson said when asked why the company had made the move. “As jurisdictions, like the Bahamas, roll out comprehensive crypto regulatory regimes, we are excited to take part by establishing a local presence.”
  • On Sept. 24, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried elaborated on the decision in an interview with Bloomberg TV, saying that “the Bahamas had been one of the first countries to roll out any comprehensive regulation for cryptocurrencies, which we think is extremely important for the space and a really very positive sign.”
  • Bankman-Fried also said that “it was also really important for us to be in a place where we could go on business trips, where there isn’t quarantine,” and that the move had been in the works for some time and was not “particularly in response to any very recent news.”

UPDATE (Sept. 24, 16:33): Updated with confirmation from FTX in the first paragraph.

UPDATE (Sept. 24, 17:27): Added comment from FTX in third bullet point.

UPDATE (Sept. 27, 20:35): Added quotes from Sam Bankman-Fried in fourth and fifth bullet points.

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Nelson Wang is a CoinDesk news editor based in New York. He owns bitcoin and ether.