The Amsterdam-based cryptocurrency futures and options trading platform Deribit is moving to Panama in order to escape harsh regulations. The move is expected to become official on February 10, after which point Deribit will operate under the Panamanian company DRB Panama Inc.
The Netherlands is about to adopt the Fifth Money Laundering Direction (5AMLD), which would require Deribit to demand extensive information from customers, making the barrier of entry too high for traders. Also, regulatory costs may become too much to handle for Deribit under 5AMLD.
Apparently the crypto companies Simplecoin and Chopcoin have already shut down in Europe due to increasing regulations. It seems in general European Union regulations are causing crypto companies to flee the region.
The Panamanian version of Deribit will still collect know your customer (KYC) information, but for withdrawals, under 1 Bitcoin (BTC) per day, no passport or photo ID is required. That being said, in order to use margin trading services a passport or photo ID is required. The main point is that Deribit will not be forced to hand over all customer data to the government, and will not have to ask for KYC info beyond a photo ID.
Unfortunately, United States customers will still be prohibited from using Deribit even after it moves to Panama. United States customers can only use Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approved platforms like Bakkt and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) for crypto derivatives trading, with non-approved platforms like BitMEX and Deribit being illegal.