(Bloomberg) -- Crypto exchange OKX has applied for regulatory approval in France and plans to build out its European hub in Paris, making it the latest overseas crypto firm to pick the French capital as its base on the continent.
The platform is seeking to register as a digital asset service provider (DASP) with France’s Autorité des Marchés Financiers, it said in a statement on Tuesday. To secure a registration, companies planning to operate a trading platform or custody cryptoassets in the country must meet certain anti-money laundering standards and provide information on any significant shareholders, among other criteria.
Seychelles-based OKX plans to hire around 10 people there within the next six months, a spokesperson told Bloomberg News, having incorporated there in April. The company aims to reach around 100 employees in France over the next three years, the representative added.
France has become a hotbed for crypto startups in recent months, boosted by President Emmanuel Macron’s embrace of the sector which prompted companies from Circle Internet Financial Ltd. to Crypto.com and Binance Holdings Ltd. to make Paris their European base. All crypto businesses seeking to operate within the European Union must register with one of its member states before January 2025, when newly passed regulation known as MiCA comes into force.
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OKX is the world’s fourth largest digital-asset exchange by trading volume, according to data from CryptoCompare, having processed around $570 million in value over the last 24 hours on Monday. By comparison, the largest exchange Binance had processed more than $5.3 billion.
Hong Fang, OKX’s president, said the firm considered having operations in France to be “crucial” in its engagement with European regulators. The move was welcomed by France’s Digital Minister Jean-Noel Barrot, who said in a statement that OKX’s decision was “testament” to the government’s policies on cryptoassets.
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