Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume, has been “invited” to open an office in Hawaii. The state’s regulators issued a cease-and-desist order to the company last week, but Binance has not responded to the letter.
The news was first reported by The Block, which cited sources familiar with the matter. Binance has not yet responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.
The Hawaii Division of Financial Institutions (DFI) sent a cease-and-desist order to Binance on September 11, 2019. The order alleges that Binance is operating a digital asset business without the proper license in the state.
Binance has not applied for a money transmitter license in Hawaii, nor has it “otherwise complied with Hawaii transmission lAWS and regulations,” the order states. The DFI is giving Binance 20 days to respond to the order.
The DFI’s order comes after Binance announced plans to open an office in Malta earlier this year. At the time, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that the company was “actively discussing” setting up an office in Malta, but no plans had been finalized.
Binance is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume. In August 2019, Binance traded $34.5 billion worth of cryptocurrencies.
The exchange has also been one of the fastest-growing companies in the blockchain space, with its valuation rising from $200 million in July 2017 to $1.26 billion by January 2018.
The DFI’s order raises questions about whether Binance will be able to operate in Hawaii. If Binance does not obtain a money transmitter license, it could be forced to stop doing business in the state.
Binance has not yet responded to the DFI’s order, so it is unclear if the company plans to apply for a money transmitter license or if it will continue operating without one.