Crypto Exchange FTX Is Moving Its US Headquarters From Chicago to Miami

The exchange has been steadily building up its presence in southern Florida, including purchasing the naming rights to the NBA’s Miami Heat arena in 2021 for $135 million.

AccessTimeIconSep 27, 2022 at 6:52 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:51 p.m. UTC

Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX is moving its U.S. headquarters to Miami, only four short months after cutting the ribbon on its headquarters in Chicago.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot had attended the opening ceremony on FTX.US’s glitzy, 9,000 square foot office space in downtown Chicago, and touted the benefits of FTX’s presence in the Windy City – especially a pilot program sponsored by FTX that would provide supplemental income and financial education for underbanked Chicago residents.

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried announced the Miami move in a tweet on Tuesday morning.

A representative for FTX did not immediately respond to requests for comment about FTX’s decision to move its U.S. headquarters so soon, or what would become of the Chicago pilot program.

When speaking with Bloomberg about the move on Tuesday, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said that establishing offices all over the world was key to the company’s mission of getting licensure for its various businesses. FTX moved its global headquarters from Hong Kong to the Bahamas in September.

“Frankly, for us, having clear licensure for our marketplaces is by far the biggest piece of this, that’s what we’ve been focusing on,” Bankman-Fried said.

Miami has become a hot spot for crypto companies in the U.S., second only to New York in terms of cities with the most investments in crypto startups. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has made attracting crypto companies and talent a key priority for his administration, emphasizing the comparatively lax regulations and lower tax burden there.

Several companies, including crypto exchange and now FTX.US, have moved their headquarters to Miami. Others, including fellow exchange eToro, have expanded their U.S. presence with offices in the city.

Last March, FTX.US purchased the naming rights to the Miami Heat arena for $135 million.

FTX.US President Brett Harrison, who was based in Chicago prior to FTX setting up an office there in June 2021, announced he would be stepping down on Tuesday.

His resignation is one of a spate of recent executive resignations from crypto companies, including MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor, and Kraken CEO Jesse Powell.


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Cheyenne Ligon

Cheyenne Ligon is a CoinDesk news reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She has no significant crypto holdings.