OKX plans to hire 100 after securing Bahamas license

Quick Take

  • OKX has secured a digital asset license in The Bahamas.
  • The crypto exchange operator plans to hire up to 100 people to staff the new venture.

OKX, the world's second-largest crypto-only exchange by trading volume, has followed rival FTX and obtained a digital asset license in The Bahamas, where it plans to hire up to 100 people over the next 12 months.

The Seychelles-based exchange operator will use the newly licensed entity to onboard customers — starting with clients from Mexico — Jillian Bethel, Chief Executive Officer of OKX's Bahamian unit, said in an interview. 

''We have been working in a non-regulated space where clients trust us because of our track record,'' Bethel said. OKX wants to operate in a regulated space and will eventually bring existing clients under the regulated framework, she added.

The Caribbean nation has made a bid to become a regional center for digital asset firms. In 2020, it introduced the Digital Assets and Registered Exchanges Bill, which established a licensing system for crypto-related firms. That gave exchanges and other crypto service providers the chance to gain an accreditation that sets certain minimum standards and can be used in sales pitches to clients.

Countries across the globe are deliberating on how flexible their crypto regulations should be. Some, like Malta and Dubai, have positioned themselves as crypto-friendly. In The Bahamas, Bethel says OKX will be able to offer nearly 100% of its products under its new license. By comparison, Hong Kong on Monday laid out requirements that digital asset service providers in the city apply for a regulatory license, with rules barring the platforms from offering more lucrative trading products including leveraged positions and derivatives.

One attraction of The Bahamas for OKX was that business and political circles were small. ''It is easier to have the regulator and the government along with the industry to all come together and say these are the things that happening and these are things that need to be regulated,'' said Bethel.

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