Cryptocurrency exchange OKX is targeting France as a regional hub in Europe with plans to hire around 100 people there in the next three years, looking to join 74 other companies that have so far won regulatory approval from the country's Financial Markets Authority (AMF).
The Seychelles-based firm has filed an application to become registered as a Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP). It plans to establish a "substantial" physical presence in France, the company's head of global government relations, Tim Byun, said.
It's not the only crypto exchange seeking a base in the European Union's second-largest economy. France last year emerged as the destination of choice for Binance as a European Union (EU) hub following its DASP registration. The world's largest crypto exchange had hired around 150 people for its Paris office by September, according to founder Changpeng "CZ" Zhao.
"We would aspire to hire 100 full-time employees within three years," Byun said in an interview. "I think in the first year, we forecast [hiring] about 30 colleagues."
Byun said he expects the registration process to take up to six months.
Registration involves checking that companies comply with money laundering standards and have reputable management. With the EU's Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation unanimously approved by the 27 member states earlier this month, going forward it should be easier for crypto firms who have obtained approval in one country to operate across the whole bloc.
The AMF suggested last month that existing registered firms in France could be fast-tracked to MiCA licensing, which includes tougher rules on governance, consumer protection and financial stability.
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