Singapore-based Binance Asia Services has announced it is ending a bourse it was looking to run within the nation’s borders. The company has withdrawn the application it submitted and will close by February 13.
Binance Is Ending Its Singapore Branch
The firm is just one of nearly 200 that submitted applications to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for permits to provide crypto-based services to customers. Prior to the withdrawal, it was widely whispered amongst diehard crypto fans and traders that Singapore would become the central hub for Binance and several other crypto-related firms, but now it looks like this future is not to be.
In a statement, Richard Teng – the chief executive officer at Binance Singapore – explained:
We always put our users first, so our decision to close Binance.sg was not taken lightly. 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.
In a separate statement, Binance has stated that it looked at several elements – including “strategic, commercial, and developmental” ones – when making its withdrawal decision. The MAS is allowing the firms in question due time to withdraw their applications, in which they will be required to gradually cease all crypto-based services while slowly giving their clients a window to move their tokens to other providers. They also have the option of liquidating all their assets.
Changpeng Zhao is the founder of Binance, which has been around since 2017. At only four years old, the exchange has become the biggest digital currency trading firm in the world, boasting the largest daily trading volume. Zhao holds Canadian citizenship and has called Singapore his home for the past two years. Despite this, he has been rather wishy washy about where he will establish a permanent base for his company.
Now, it appears the 44-year-old entrepreneur has purchased a new home in the United Arab Emirates given that the country has loose crypto rules and is very open to this new industry.
Not long ago, Binance Asia put money into a new firm known as Hg Exchange, which is a digital currency platform that allows users to tokenize items like rare whiskey. Commenting on this investment, Zhao said:
This investment made our own application somewhat redundant. We will continue to work through our partners to grow the crypto industry in Singapore.
A New Focus for the Firm?
In the meantime, Chia Hock Lai – the co-chairman of the Blockchain Association Singapore – stated in an interview that Binance Asia will probably focus more of its attention and energy towards blockchain technology now that trading has become less of an option. He said:
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.