Poland’s Largest Crypto Exchange Revamps to Go License Shopping

Zonda (formerly BitBay) plans to push into Switzerland early next year, with U.K. and Canada next on the roadmap.

Nov 8, 2021 at 9:32 a.m. UTC
Updated Nov 8, 2021 at 3:55 p.m. UTC

BitBay, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in Poland, has renamed itself Zonda and hired a new chief executive as it kicks off an expansion beyond Europe.

Zonda, which has more than a million users and holds a crypto license to operate across the European Union, is on track to snag a license in Switzerland next, to be followed by the U.K. and Canada, according to newly appointed CEO Przemysław Kral.

“We are very well known in central and eastern Europe as we have a crypto/fiat license in Estonia and we are also the first exchange to have an audited financial statement there,” said Kral, who served as BitBay’s chief legal officer before becoming CEO. “Now we want to be fully regulated and have licenses everywhere.”

Many crypto companies are stuck at some stage of registration with regulatory authorities, given the steady creep of global anti-money laundering (AML) rules. Zonda’s move into Switzerland goes some way beyond just a license application, Kral said.

“We have a company structure in Switzerland and we are hiring there,” said Kral. “We also have a partnership with FINMA-licensed SEBA Bank. We expect to have our Swiss license in the first quarter of 2022.”

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Ian Allison is a senior reporter at CoinDesk.