Binance Exchange Backs First-Ever Decentralized Bank in Malta

Binance is reportedly among a number of investors backing a decentralized, blockchain-based bank to be launched in Malta.

Jul 12, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:09 a.m. UTC

Binance, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, is reportedly among a number of investors backing a decentralized bank to be launched in Malta.

Bloomberg reported Thursday that Binance had confirmed it has acquired a 5 percent stake in the so-called Founders Bank at a €133 million euro ($155 million) pre-investment valuation.

Founders Bank will have systems based on blockchain technology and will partner with fundraising platform Neufund in an issuance of its own "legally-binding" equity tokens, according to Binance.

The bank is hoping to obtain a license from the EU state's government in order to officially operate its business. If approved, the bank will be the world's "first decentralized and community-owned bank," as per the report, with token investors effectively owning the bank.

Taking to Twitter to comment on the breaking news, Changpeng Zhao, Binance's CEO, commented:

"Malta is the fusion ground for traditional and blockchain finance now. A lot can happen in 3 short months."

Binance, which was founded in Hong Kong in July 2017, revealed in March that it planned to set up an office and fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange in Malta – a jurisdiction that is working to set itself up as a "blockchain island" and passed several bills around the technology just two weeks ago.

In June, Binance further announced it is backing a program by the Malta Stock Exchange to support fintech startups and entrepreneurs. The MSX Fintech Accelerator is aimed at creating an ecosystem to nurture and support crypto startups and entrepreneurs, according to the stock exchange.

Maltese flag image via Shutterstock

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