Binance Closing Singapore Entity After Acquiring 18% Stake in Local Licensed Exchange
The leading cryptocurrency exchange, Binance’s Singapore affiliate, Binance Asia Services Ltd., has withdrawn its application to operate a crypto trading platform in the city-state.
The fiat-to-crypto exchange first started the process to gain approval from Singapore’s authorities last year. Binance’s Singapore entity was among 170 firms that applied to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for a permit to provide crypto services.
But now it has started to wind down its operation, and by February 13, Binance.sg will be closed.
Binance Asia has taken “strategic, commercial and developmental considerations” into account before making the decision to withdraw its application in Singapore, the company said.
Back in September, Binance said that due to local regulation, users in Singapore would not be able to trade on its global platform.
“We always put our users first, so our decision to close Binance.sg was not taken lightly,” said Richard Teng, CEO of Binance’s Singapore entity.
“I am grateful to the Monetary Authority of Singapore for its ongoing assistance to Binance Asia Services and we look forward to future opportunities to work together.”
Binance founder Changpeng Zhao is the majority shareholder of Binance Asia with Temasek Holdings’ VC arm Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd., an investor in the company, according to an Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority filing.
This winding down of Binance.sg makes sense as just last week, Binance had announced its plans to acquire 18% of Singapore-regulated private securities exchange Hg Exchange (HGX). It will be buying the post-money stake, including its own investment, via Binance Asia Services.
HGX was recently granted a recognized market operator license from the MAS. CZ said,
“Binance made a sizable investment into regulated exchange HGX last week. This investment made our own application somewhat redundant. We will continue to work through our partners to grow the crypto industry in Singapore.”
In its statement, the company said it would refocus its operations in Singapore towards blockchain technology. Chia Hock Lai, co-chairman of the Blockchain Association Singapore, said in a statement,
“Not all crypto activities are regulated, and increasingly big crypto players might want to consider having distinct regulated and unregulated entities, to optimize their revenue and partnership models across different jurisdictions.”