Binance will shut down its Singapore crypto trading platform after clashing with city-state regulators earlier this year, marking the latest blow to the exchange’s efforts to establish operations. operating in a major financial center.
Binance Asia Services, the unit of the Singapore exchange, said Monday that it will drop its application for a license to operate a cryptocurrency business in the country and will cease trading cryptocurrencies in Singapore in February.
The withdrawal took place after the Monetary Authority of Singapore in September Ordered Binance Singapore halt all crypto transactions with global exchange binance.com, which the regulator has put on an investor alert list and says it “may violate” local laws.
Singapore is the primary jurisdiction for Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, dealing with about 170 billion dollars in day-to-day transactions, according to the company.
Its CEO Changpeng Zhao is based in the city, has established Relatively friendly stance towards cryptocurrencies, especially in contrast to China, which has banned all crypto activities. However, the jurisdiction has taken a rigorous approach to reviewing its dozens of crypto license applications.
Binance has sought to establish crypto operations in a number of financial centers, but has faced strong opposition from regulators due to concerns about the group’s policies and procedures to protect consumers. UK Financial Conduct Authority said in August that Binance’s “high-risk and complex financial products” pose “significant risk to consumers”.
Cryptocurrency investors in multiple jurisdictions can access Binance’s offshore exchange, which offers spot and derivatives trading among other services, even if the team has no operations in their country of residence. However, the group has set up branches around the world to get better access to traditional payment networks.
In response to a question about whether Zhao will stay in Singapore, Binance said it “deploys staff globally depending on its strategic needs” and will announce any changes related to these changes. people in “leadership roles”.
Zhao, better known as “CZ,” said Monday that Binance Singapore’s regulatory application has become “a bit redundant” after it bought an 18% stake in a Singapore-regulated exchange HGX last week.
However, there is little overlap between the cryptocurrency trading services offered by Binance Singapore and HGX’s business, which uses blockchain technology to trade securities.
“We will continue to work through our partners to grow the crypto industry in Singapore,” said CZ. Binance said its Singapore legal entity will “refocus” on “incubation programs, blockchain education, and further investment opportunities.”
The announcement will raise questions about whether Singapore might be a good fit to host Binance’s global family base. CZ earlier this year kicked off a looking for an official headquarters as part of a campaign to appease regulators in more than a dozen countries, including Japan, Europe and the UK.
Recent comments and the company’s filing have sparked speculation that Dubai, France or Ireland may be in dispute. CZ told the Financial Times last month that he is waiting for more clarity before “committing to a single jurisdiction”.
Binance has sought to polish its compliance credential in recent weeks with the announcement of 10 “basic rights” for crypto users, emphasizing its “responsibility” in partnering with cryptocurrency exchanges. managers and policy makers.
Binance Singapore, launched in 2019 with support from the joint venture arm of state investment firm Temasek, has been operating under a temporary license in the city while its license application is being reviewed. .
The Monetary Authority of Singapore said in September that binance.com may be in breach of its rules “for carrying out a business of providing payment services and soliciting that business from residents.” Singaporeans without proper permits”.
According to the warning, Binance users are banned in Singapore from buying or trading cryptocurrencies on binance.com, transfer them to Binance Singapore.
Binance Singapore customers will now have until mid-February to move their crypto assets off the platform. The company said “registered users have not passed [know your customer]“The check will be suspended immediately.