Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, announced today that its Singapore entity Binance Asia Services has withdrawn its application to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for a license to operate a regulated crypto exchange in the country, according to a company statement.
- The exchange had operated in Singapore under an exemption that allows companies to provide services while their license applications are being processed, but the withdrawal has put an end to this.
- Binance said its fiat-to-crypto trading platform Binance.sg will wind down operations and close by Feb. 13, 2022. The company is immediately closing new registrations, crypto and currency deposits and trading on Binance.sg, and the platform’s users will be informed via email of what steps to take as the trading platform closes, the company said.
- “We always put our users first, so our decision to close Binance.sg was not taken lightly,” Richard Teng, CEO of Binance Singapore (Binance.sg), said in the statement. “Our immediate priority is to help our users in Singapore transition their holdings to other wallets or other third-party services.”
- Binance has already ceased support for crypto trading on its main platform for Singapore users after MAS in September added Binance.com to its Investor Alert List, flagging entities that may have given the public the impression they were licensed.
- Just last week, Binance Asia Services said it was acquiring an 18% stake in Hg Exchange, a private securities exchange that has obtained a recognized market operator license by MAS.
- It is not only in Singapore that Binance has encountered mounting regulatory pressure. Similar regulatory actions have been taken in countries including the United States, Japan, Italy, Australia, the U.K. and South Africa. Earlier this month, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao told the Sunday Telegraph that the company is working to rebuild its operations in the U.K. after it was told to close down the business there back in June.
- Binance has yet to announce a location for the company’s global headquarters. However, Zhao has reportedly bought a home in Dubai, a place he called “pro-crypto.” Zhao said Binance has decided on a location for the headquarters but will only announce it after full communications with local regulators, according to a Bloomberg report in November.