Crypto exchange Bybit has obtained a license to operate as an exchange and custody service in Cyprus. The world’s third most visited crypto exchange will now offer trading between crypto and fiat currency pairs, as well as other crypto-related financial services.
Cyprus, with a population of 1.2 million people, is the third most populous island in the Mediterranean Sea. Ben Zhou, the co-founder and CEO of Bybit, emphasized the importance of expanding their global presence and highlighted the role of crypto as an alternative to the traditional financial system:
“We are excited to introduce the Crypto Ark to Cyprus.”
Cyprus is becoming a prominent crypto hotspot in the Mediterranean, partly due to initiatives from the public sector. In 2022, Kyriacos Kokkinos, the deputy minister to the president for research at the time, stated that the country aims to become a hub for disruptive technologies, including blockchain.
Although the Cypriot central bank has previously issued warnings about crypto, it has been ten years since a run on Cypriot banks led to a 600% surge in Bitcoin (BTC) prices. In 2021, Cyprus expressed intentions to embrace blockchain technology and crypto by advancing the bill on Distributed Ledger Technology Law. However, the bill was ultimately not pursued by the Cypriot Ministry of Finance in April 2023.
Despite this, adoption levels are still lower compared to Malta, another Mediterranean nation. Malta has three times as many blockchain-related jobs per capita and is often referred to as “Blockchain Island”. Bitcoin OGs like Adam Back speak highly of Malta’s crypto environment.
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Additionally, Binance, a major player in the crypto industry, recently announced its decision to deregister in Cyprus. Originally based in China, Binance now has offices worldwide, including crypto-friendly locations like Dubai and Bahrain, and has chosen to focus on larger markets instead of Cyprus.
Recognizing the immense potential of the Cyprus market, Bybit aims to grow the local cryptocurrency ecosystem with its newly-approved license.
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