FTX Digital Markets anticipates breaking ground on its new $50 million to $60 million campus in the “next couple of months” and building the 1,000-person facility out over the next two to three years, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Ryan Salame said Thursday.
According to Salame, the campus, which is still subject to approvals, will be situated next to Pictet Bank.
Since opening its headquarters in The Bahamas in September of 2021, FTX, the world’s number two cryptocurrency exchange, has hired 35 Bahamians and taken up most of the office space in the Veridian Corporate Center.
Salame said The Bahamas was selected by FTX from a list of many countries, taking into account 21 criteria, including a strong regulatory environment.
“In the crypto space, the regulatory environment became a very important issue over the last year,” said Salame.
“We essentially put every country up on a board. We went through a list of criteria that we were looking for to move the headquarters of FTX there.
“First and foremost was a regulatory environment that we could operate in. We wanted a real regulatory environment, not a place to hide away. And so The Bahamas was a contender on that front.
“Then we looked at quality of living, location, quality of government, these different aspects and throughout the whole list… The Bahamas came out on top.”
The company was set to do nearly $1 billion in revenue last year and Salame said there is no anticipation of a slowdown in revenue growth.
He said cryptocurrency has been a “hot topic” globally and is being seriously looked at by governments and individuals.
He said any pushback to cryptocurrency is coming from people who are nervous about how the digital money could disrupt monetary policy.
“There’s a lot of potential to solve a lot of inequality issues with crypto,” said Salame.
He said there has been a net positive impact on crypto during the COVID-19 pandemic, given that countries have been shifting their monetary policies. There has been a large movement of people and a global shift in where people are working.
“And people have been locked indoors online all day,” Salame said.