The BTSE crypto exchange sought a new headquarters after tightening regulations in most regions sparked the search for a more lenient legal climate.

BTSE Considers its Dubai Licensing as Insufficient
The BTSE exchange, aiming at financial innovation, has been on the lookout for the most suitable residence. Initially, the exchange aimed at moving its registration in Dubai, awaiting clarity on crypto legislation. But despite promises and sandboxing, Dubai has not moved in with clear rules. The danger of shifting regulations may mean extra expenses or compliance work, and BTSE has decided to establish itself in the British Virgin Islands. In a recent blog post, BTSE explained,
We have been gradually transitioning to the British Virgin Islands and continue to monitor the global regulatory landscape. As a cryptocurrency exchange, we continue to be agile and responsive to regulatory updates and evolve together with the global legal landscape
If suitable, the crypto exchange may move part of its operations to Dubai, if the regulatory conditions change sufficiently. BTSE has dedicated its efforts to finding a true crypto haven, to foster innovation and crypto-based financial products without the threat of sudden restrictive regulations.
Dubai Regulations Considered Unclear for Smooth Crypto Exchange Operations
The licensing of the BTSE in Dubai has also raised controversy regarding the exchange’s status as a crypto service provider. The BTSE licensing in Dubai was deemed inappropriate, sparking discussions toward the end of 2019. Finally, BTSE addressed the discrepancy, choosing a new jurisdiction for its operations.
The exchange has a Payment Services Provider License (Registration No.: 814678) from the Economic Development, Government of Dubai and operated under the regulations of the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates. The license existed in parallel with a previous BTSE Virgin Islands entity, which will be the chief legal framework for the exchange in the coming year.
Moving jurisdiction is not new for crypto exchanges. Recently, almost all markets had to split off their international and US-based business units. Former friendly regions tightened their oversight, while some regions with initially harsh rules turned out to be suitable for running a cryptocurrency provider business.
Malta, initially one of the countries promising crypto-friendly innovations, has stalled on settling its rules. Instead, the island nation had to harmonize EU regulations, in effect increasing the requirements for exchanges to report on potential money-laundering. This has led to the decision of Bittrex to switch jurisdictions, seeking an offshore tax haven. The trend has exposed the Virgin Islands, as well as Cayman Islands, Vanuatu and the Bahamas as potential venues for establishing a crypto exchange operation.
The BTSE exchange is a niche market, reporting volumes above $10 million per day. The market is relatively limited in its offerings, focusing on Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Monero (XMR), and Tether (USDT).
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