Bittrex International will expand its digital asset trading platform to Liechtenstein. The company will allow fiat trading in Euros for the first time. The Blockchain Act was one reason why Bittrex decided for Liechtenstein as its European base.

When the Liechtenstein parliament discussed the Blockchain Act last week, one key consideration was its positive effect on the financial marketplace Liechtenstein. The lawmakers’ assumption that blockchain businesses seeking legal certainty will move to Liechtenstein has been proved right many times already, and today once more: Bittrex International announced to launch an operation in Liechtenstein.

Bill Shihara – CEO Bittrex International

At yesterday’s launch party, Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara emphasized again, how important regulatory certainty is for them. “We are delighted to launch Bittrex International in Liechtenstein and offer our clients access to such a well-established financial center in the heart of Europe”, Bill said in his opening speech. He feels very welcomed in the country and is looking forward to working in Liechtenstein.

Prince Michael of Liechtenstein

Prince Michael von und zu Liechtenstein was also of the opinion that Liechtenstein needed constant innovations in order to improve itself. According to the Prince, the core of Liechtenstein is the “preservation of wealth” and giving clients stability. This stability is achieved through constant movement in response to new market requirements. Prince Michael reiterated that Liechtenstein is the first country in Europe to have begun blockchain legislation in the financial sector. Blockchain technology is a great “opportunity for the financial system in Liechtenstein”. “We need foreign companies and foreign ideas for the country!” The Prince ended with a funny remark that he sees Bittrex as a more traditional company in the blockchain scene.

Thomas Nägele, Nägele Rechtsanwälte & President of the CCA

Thomas Nägele, Attorney at Law at Nägele Rechtsanwälte and President of the CCA, welcomed Bill and Bittrex to Liechtenstein with the following words: “It is my pleasure to introduce Bittrex to the Blockchain ecosystem in Liechtenstein and to invite you to participate. You will bring much value to our ecosystem”. He mentioned that there is a favourable regulatory environment for blockchain companies here in Liechtenstein and that even the first STO founded in the EEA was founded in Liechtenstein at that time.

At the end of his speech Thomas Nägele revealed that we can expect much more from Bittrex in the future because the company thinks big and has a lot of plans.

International exchange migrating to Liechtenstein; fiat trading in Euros for the first time

Bittrex International is a digital asset trading platform developed for international customers and built on Bittrex’s proprietary technology. The US-based platform was founded in 2014 by the three software engineers Bill Shihara (CEO), Richie Lai (CIO), and Rami Kawach (CTO).

Bittrex is currently ranked 58th in terms of adjusted trading volume, according to CoinMarketCap. The exchange’s daily trading volume is around $81 million at press time, with 347 cryptocurrency markets available.

The platform provides tokens a streamlined approach for being listed, instant trade execution, digital wallets, and claims to have industry-leading security practices. Bitrex also provides trading options on trading pairs, including fiat markets in USD. Last week, the company announced to add Euro markets this coming summer, allowing fiat trading in Euros for the first time.

Blockchain Act was a key consideration when deciding for Liechtenstein

The digital trading platform will be accessible for qualified customers in Liechtenstein. It will be fully compliant with the Blockchain Act and run its own local operation. It will include a compliance team that ensures regulatory compliance in particular regarding KYC and AML regulations.

CEO Shirara also confirmed what Liechtenstein lawmakers were hoping for when debating the new law. He says, “The Blockchain Act under consideration in parliament will provide certainty to companies operating in the blockchain industry. The Liechtensteiner government and regulators are taking a very proactive, pro-business approach looking to foster innovation in blockchain, which fits perfectly with our mission and we applaud them for their work.”

It’s probably no coincidence that the announcement came just several days after the Blockchain Act had passed the first hearing in parliament. At this point, it’s unlikely the law won’t get introduced.

Liechtenstein provides unique advantages and is the ideal base to access the European market

While the Blockchain Act played a key role in Bittrex’s decision, Liechtenstein has more to offer than legal certainty. The location is unique, with Liechtenstein not being a member of the EU but enabling access to the entire European Economic Area. Liechtenstein’s blockchain ecosystem is well developed, and the Zurich financial center is just a one-hour train ride away.

Shihara says, “We are delighted to launch Bittrex International in Liechtenstein and offer our clients access to such a well-established financial center in the heart of Europe. This is a unique opportunity for Bittrex International to bring our world-class technology and security to a market with great infrastructure, strong, open-minded regulators and a well-educated financial services workforce.”

Choosing Liechtenstein as a base in Europe makes perfect sense. Smart move Bittrex, and welcome to Liechtenstein.

Image: ©Ramona Salzgeber