OKEx, which is among the top 3 cryptocurrency exchanges in the world by trading volume alongside Binance and Huobi, is partnering with the Digital and Fintech arm of Malta Stock Exchange Holdings to create a new crypto exchange called OKMSX. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the parties on 19 July 2018. Plans will be finalized by Q3 2018, and by Q1 2019 OKMSX will launch worldwide.

The Chief Risk Officer and Head of Government Relations for OKEx, Tim Byun, says “Malta is taking the helm of regulating the blockchain technology and cultivating a regulated cryptocurrency and ICO epicenter. This joint venture marks our confidence in the Maltese government as well as our commitment to providing an efficient, secure, and transparent blockchain trading environment to clients worldwide. We believe OKMSX will be a milestone in the economic development of Malta”.

OKMSX will be an institutional grade platform to trade cryptocurrencies that are classified as securities, which includes most initial coin offering (ICO) cryptocurrencies. Essentially, OKMSX will combine the regulatory and compliance expertise of the Malta Stock Exchange with OKEx’s cryptocurrency trading infrastructure and security. This combination will allow institutional investors to trade cryptocurrencies in a fully regulated environment.

The Chairman of the Malta Stock Exchange, Joseph Portelli, says “Malta is on the cusp of becoming a center of excellence within the global digital innovation landscape. We are thrilled to be teaming up with OKEx, a leader in the digital currency sector, to leverage our expertise on the compliance and regulatory front to truly be a trailblazer within the security token sector”.

Indeed, Malta is branding itself as ‘Blockchain Island’, and has made headlines recently due to top crypto exchange Binance moving some of its operations to Malta. Binance has already obtained a fiat bank account in Malta, which is something it wasn’t able to do anywhere else and is already using that fiat bank account to launch Binance Uganda with plans for many more fiat to crypto exchanges worldwide. Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, says the Maltese government is very favorable towards crypto and blockchain companies.

Silvio Schembri, who is a member of the Maltese Parliament and Junior Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office for Financial Services, Digital Economy, and Innovation says “Today Malta opened up a way for legally binding listing and trading of tokenized securities. We are proud of Malta Stock Exchange to enter a partnership with a worldwide leader in primary offerings on blockchain such as OKEx. I look forward to the fruitful collaboration in the future”.

OKMSX represents another addition to the infrastructure that will facilitate the entrance of institutional investors into the crypto space, especially when combined with cryptocurrency custodian solutions. Many cryptocurrency experts think institutional investors will spark the next big crypto rally once infrastructure and regulations are firmly established.

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