September 19, 2021

Which exchanges are officially licensed?

Which exchanges are officially licensed?

Most crypto exchanges operate in a pirate way, taking advantage of loopholes in the laws of different countries. But this comes to an end:Regulators in Europe and Asia are increasingly issuing warnings that platforms for trading and exchanging digital money may be closed if their owners do not issue official licenses and begin to adhere to the established rules.

Recently, Binance received an order on the need to obtain registration from the Central Banks of the Netherlands and Malaysia, and before that, Huobi and Bybit were targeted by Spain's fiscal services.

But, on the other hand, regulators are interested intaxes paid by digital platforms, therefore, they promise to facilitate the procedure for obtaining permits and tax incentives for companies that will begin to cooperate with the authorities.

The friendliest jurisdictions for obtaining a license to trade and store cryptocurrencies are:

  • Singapore;
  • Malta;
  • Cyprus;
  • Estonia;
  • Hong Kong;
  • USA.

We have prepared information on largecrypto exchanges that were able to obtain official licenses and legally protected their users from possible illegal actions by fraudsters, as well as from their own bankruptcy.


The largest cryptocurrency exchange launched in 2012.It is headquartered in Washington, but positions itself as a multinational company. Its assets are estimated at the end of March 2021 at around $ 223 billion.

Coinbase services are used by traders in almost 40 countries around the world, but the company has few official licenses.

The exchange received a work permit from regulators:

  • Germany (June 2021). Issued by the Federal Financial Supervision Authority.
  • Japan (June 2021) Issued by the Financial Services Agency.
  • Malta (March 2020) Licensed from the Electronic Finance Institution of Malta (EMI).
  • United States (March 2017). Issued by the Department of Financial Services of several states: New York, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Virginia, Colorado, Washington, Minnesota.
  • Singapore (September 2018) Issued by the country's Central Bank.

The exchange's management has officially announced plans to obtain a license from India's regulators and begin operations in that country by the end of 2021.


Huobi is a Chinese exchange that started operations in 2013. According to the official data of the company, its assets are $ 13.86 billion.

In July 2021, she left her country and received a residence permit in the Seychelles. The site has official offices in the USA, Russia, Ukraine, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea.

The crypto exchange manages to achieve the location of the regulators by merging with large companies from different jurisdictions and purchasing controlling stakes in regulated platforms.

  1. After the acquisition in September 2018 of the Japanese exchange Bittrade, which was licensed by the FSA, Huobi Japan Holding was given the opportunity to operate in the cryptocurrency market of the Land of the Rising Sun.
  2. Official permission to operate in Hong Kongthe exchange received in June 2020. To do this, the company acquired 75% of the shares of the national computer manufacturer Pantronics Holdings, which at that time was close to bankruptcy.
  3. In 2018, Gibraltar issued a DLT license to the exchange,which gives the right to use distributed ledger technology in financial activities. This came after Huobi Technology invested heavily in the peninsula's economy.
  4. In December 2020, a subsidiary of Huobi Trust Company received a trust license to conduct financial activities in Nevada and Wyoming (USA).

Since Ukraine and Russia still do not have clear regulations regarding digital assets, Huobi is able to operate in these countries without obtaining licenses.


Binance's efforts to obtain official approvals from global financial regulators have so far been unsuccessful. And even tough measures to control the mandatory verification of traders do not help her.

Moreover, Malta, friendly to digital platforms, filed a lawsuit against the exchange and refused to issue a license.

Changpeng Zhao is already looking for the position of CEOthe company of a person with extensive experience in regulatory bodies, in order to start the bureaucratic machine and finally obtain official work permits.

This exchange was also refused a license:

  • USA;
  • Netherlands;
  • Italy;
  • Poland;
  • Germany;
  • South Korea;
  • Japan;
  • United Kingdom;
  • Thailand;
  • Cayman islands.

In China, the exchange is blocked and traders have lost access to their accounts. It was possible to withdraw funds only with the help of a VPN.

Complaints from regulatory authorities and banksthe same: the site is accused of money laundering using tokenized shares and tax evasion. Only a complete change of internal policy and rebranding of the company can save Binance from the wrath of the fiscal authorities.

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