- Binance intends to shut down all services in Singapore by noon September 10.
- The exchange claims this move is part of its goal to help create constructive crypto policies.
- According to MAS, Binance might have violated Singapore’s Payment Services Act.
- While Binance Asia Services filed a license with MAS afterward, it is still under review.
Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, has updated its product and service offerings in Singapore. The exchange announced this news on September 5, saying it will stop offering all products and services in the country by 12:00 PM UTC, September 10. Reportedly, the exchange intends to cancel all SGD trading pairs and SGD payment options on Friday.
According to the announcement, Binance also plans to terminate support for both Android and iOS versions of its app in Singapore. To this end, the exchange urged users in the country to complete all peer-to-peer (P2P) trades and remove related trade advertisements by 12:00 PM UTC Thursday, September 9, to avoid potential disputes.
Binance also warned its Singapore users that it does not operate any official Telegram or online communication channels in the country, emphasizing the need to adhere to the above directive.
Explaining the decision to stop operating in the country, Binance said,
“Our aim is to create a sustainable ecosystem around blockchain technology and digital assets. Binance welcomes developments to our industry’s regulatory framework as they pose opportunities for the market players to have greater collaboration with the regulators. We are committed to working constructively in policy-making that seeks to benefit every user.”
Financial Regulators Continue Clamping Down on Binance
This news comes after the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, said Binance might have been in breach of local laws by offering Singaporeans crypto services. According to the regulator, Binance was potentially breaching the Payment Services Act. To this end, MAS instructed the exchange to stop offering payment services to Singapore residents.
MAS also listed Binance on its Investor Alert List, warning citizens that the exchange does not have the necessary permissions to offer payment services in Singapore. While Binance Asia Services (BAS), a separate organization that operates Binance.sg, applied for a license with MAS, the application is still under review. Per MAS, the organization must prove that it can meet requirements under the Payment Service Act.
Apart from Singapore, Binance has had run-ins with financial watchdogs from several countries. These include the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), and Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), among others.
A Small Hiccup in Binance’s Journey?
Sharing what he thinks of Binance’s decision to shut down operations in Singapore, Adrian Pollard from bitHolla, told DailyCoin that,
“It is typical for regulators to ask crypto exchanges that have not gotten the proper license to shut shop temporarily and I suspect this will be just a short pause before Binance is back online in Singapore.”
In the event that Binance never returns to Singapore, Pollard believes DEX protocols will move to fill the gap the exchange leaves behind.
According to him, DeFi protocols are the solution to mounting regulatory pressure, seeing as watchdogs cannot shut them down because of lacking licenses.
On The Flipside
- Despite financial regulators increasingly clamping down on Binance, it is worth noting that the exchange is one of the biggest forces pushing for the mass adoption of crypto. Binance operates in more than 180 countries and has a daily trading volume of more than $2 billion.
- Although watchdogs claim Binance has violated financial laws, the harsh treatment might be stemming from the fact that the company does not have a physical head office in any country.
Why You Should Care?
With regulators tightening their clampdowns on Binance, the exchange is actively changing different aspects of its operation to stay compliant. For instance, Binance announced mandatory KYC verification for its users in the past month.