Binance Singapore affiliate announces it will withdraw its licensing offer and close the local platform


The Biance app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken on July 13, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

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HONG KONG, Dec. 13 (Reuters) – The Singaporean subsidiary of Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, announced on Monday that it would withdraw its local license application and end its token business from digital payment in the largely crypto-friendly city-state. .

The company, which is under increasing scrutiny globally, did not justify its decision beyond “strategic, business and development” considerations and said it would refocus the operations of the company. local unit to become a blockchain innovation hub.

Governments and financial watchdogs around the world have stepped up scrutiny of the cryptocurrency industry this year, posing a challenge to exchanges that have thrived in a mostly unregulated environment.

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Singapore is a popular location for cryptocurrency businesses due to a relatively clear regulatory and operating environment, and is among the global forerunners in developing a formal licensing framework.

Binance’s Singapore unit was one of over 100 cryptocurrency companies to apply for a license to operate in Singapore and had been allowed to do business while its license application was processed.

Singapore issued its first licenses this year, including a unit of Southeast Asia’s largest bank, DBS (DBSM.SI), but dozens more have been withdrawn or rejected.

Binance said its Singapore fiat and cryptocurrency trading platform will close by mid-February. In September, the company said that due to local regulations, users in Singapore would not be able to trade on its global platform.

A spokesperson for the Monetary Authority of Singapore said that Binance Asia Services had provided them with a plan for an orderly termination of its regulated payment services that “will give customers sufficient time to research other providers or, if they wish, to liquidate their assets. “

“I think that (Binance’s withdrawal from its application) again means that Singapore’s licensing regime is pretty strict,” said Chia Hock Lai, co-chair of the Blockchain Association Singapore.

“Having said that, Binance also said that Singapore will remain its blockchain innovation hub, so this stays consistent with the narrative that Singapore is a very important blockchain hub.”

Financial regulators in Hong Kong, Britain, Germany and Japan, among others, have targeted Binance, raising issues such as consumer protection and anti-money laundering controls. Some have banned the platform from certain activities, while others have warned consumers that it is not licensed to operate. Read more

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Reporting by Alun John in Hong Kong, Aradhana Aravindan, Chen Lin in Singapore; edited by Richard Pullin and Jason Neely

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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