The Singapore affiliate of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange – Binance – has announced it is withdrawing its application to run a ‘bourse’ in the city-state and will shut down its operations.
According to Richard Teng, chief executive of Binance Singapore (pictured), operations in the financial hub will be closed by February 13.
The announcement said that, starting from December 13, no new user registrations will be permitted, while the accounts of registered users who have not passed KYC will be suspended.
Users will also not be able to deposit crypto or fiat on Binance.sg but will be still able to buy and sell crypto using their existing assets until January 12 2022.
Starting from January 13 to February 13 2022, buying and selling of crypto from all existing assets of users will be discontinued.
Users will be able only to withdraw and move their crypto to third-party platforms or crypto wallets, and/or withdraw their SGD.
“All accounts must be closed by February 13 2022,” the statement said.
Teng added that the decision to close Binance.sg was not taken lightly.
“Our immediate priority is to help our users in Singapore transition their holdings to other wallets or other third-party services,” he noted.
Binance hiring blockchain experts
It was rumoured earlier this month, that Binance’s local arm was considering withdrawing as its application to operate in the city-state remained in regulatory limbo.
The crypto exchange was constantly getting postponed by Temasek-linked Vertex Ventures, to get a permit to operate.
Still, Binance did recently take an 18% stake in Singapore-regulated private securities exchange, Hg Exchange (HGX) believing it could help with its regulatory problems, as HGX was recently granted a recognised market operator licence from the MAS.
Clarification. Binance made a sizable investment into regulated exchange HGX last week. This investment made our own application somewhat redundant. We will continue to work through our partners to grow the crypto industry in Singapore. Onwards.https://t.co/D9oywGEavV
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) December 13, 2021
In the last few months there were numerous hiring opportunities within the Singapore branch (pushed on LinkedIn among others), and there are rumours that Binance could branch into non-exchange sectors like blockchain and education.
The exchange also stated it would set up a blockchain innovation hub in Singapore,” exploring initiatives such as incubation programmes, blockchain education and further investment opportunities”.
Analysts, however, argue that this will put Singapore out of the running, paving the way for a push into Europe and the Middle East.