FTX will begin to move key operations to Bahamas as part of HQ shift

FTX is moving some key operations from its long-standing headquarters in Hong Kong to the Bahamas. 

FTX Ltd. CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried tweeted today that the firm is in the process of moving its headquarters to the Bahamas from Hong Kong. The exchange's Bahamian subsidiary, FTX Digital Markets, registered as a digital assets business with the nation's securities regulator, according to an announcement earlier this week. That announcement also revealed Ryan Salame, former Head of OTC at Alameda Research, will take the helm at the Bahamian arm as CEO. 

Friday's announcement, however, means Bankman-Fried will likely spend a significant portion of his time at the Bahamian office and critical operations will move there over time, according to a source at the company. Still, the Hong Kong office remains active, and for the time being critical operations will remain there. The office will likely stay operational as the firm maintains a variety of offices worldwide.

The decision to move headquarters seems to be two-fold. The Chinese government continues to crack down on crypto and FTX could face regulatory uncertainty in the future despite Hong Kong's previously favorable environment. The Bahamas, on the other hand, has a framework for crypto firms already in place. 

Additionally, Bankman-Fried has tweeted his mounting frustrations with the strict quarantine procedures in place in China. 

"Who would have thought two years ago that a significant consideration for where to live would be "it's actually legal to enter and leave the country," he tweeted today. 

Bankman-Fried also cited loosened covid restrictions in his announcement tweet: "The Bahamas has emerged from COVID lively, safe, and without quarantine."

Launched in 2019, FTX is one of the largest venues for crypto derivatives trading. The firm announced a $900 million fundraise earlier this year that valued the company at $18 billion.