Binance isn’t leaving Singapore, it’s just not setting up a crypto exchange
- Binance has withdrawn its application to operate a crypto exchange in Singapore, ending its nearly year-long wait for a license from the country’s regulators.
- Instead, the company will focus on making Singapore a crypto hub of innovation.
- Binance also invested in Singapore’s Hg Exchange recently, acquiring an 18% stake in the company.
According to the world’s largest crypto exchange, it’s Singapore arm — binance.sg — will be shutting down by 13 February 2022. Investors have till the deadline to withdraw their funds. Thereafter, their accounts will be suspended and they will no longer have access to it.
“Our immediate priority is to help our users in Singapore transition their holdings to other wallets or other third-party services,” Richard Teng, Chief Executive Officer of Binance Singapore, told Forbes.
Binance launched in Singapore in 2019, and the company has not disclosed the number of active users or the estimated funds handled on the local platform.
The decision has not been made lightly, and we apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.
Binance was not making any headway with Singapore’s regulators
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) had received over 480 crypto service licence applications under the country’s Payment Services Act (PSA), which came into effect on January 28, earlier this year.
In the month that followed, Binance saw its daily active users (DAU) triple as international crypto exchanges cemented their lead over domestic counterparts like Coinhako, according to data collated by Statista. Out of the 480, Binance’s application was among the 170 asking to provide digital payment token (DPT) services in the city-state.
While the application was under review, Binance Singapore had received a temporary exemption from the regulatory body for operating in the country. It issues a license called Recognized Market Operator (RMO), which makes it possible for firms to operate crypto exchanges within Singapore.
However, six months down the line, Binance’s plans for establishing a Singapore-specific crypto exchange reportedly were still stuck in limbo. According to the Business Times, the crypto company wasn’t making any headway with the regulators in the country.
This doesn’t mean that Binance is leaving Singapore
Earlier this month, Binance invested in Singapore-based Hg Exchange, acquiring an 18% stake in the company.
“Crypto and traditional financial offerings continue to converge. Through this investment, we seek to work with HGX in enhancing offerings of products and services supported by blockchain technology,” Teng said in a blog post at the time. “We aim to work collaboratively with HGX to enhance the blockchain ecosystem in Singapore.”
While Binance had complied with MAS’ order in September, it seems that the company is giving up on the country altogether right now, at least as far as the crypto exchange is concerned. Instead, Binance will apparently use Singapore as an innovation hub, funding and supporting incubation programs and efforts in blockchain education.
With the decision to shut down operations, Binance Singapore users will get emails with directions about what to do with their account. The company will also stop taking any new registrations, crypto and currency deposits, and the platform will wind up completely by February 13.
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