Binance to halt crypto trading and payments in Singapore
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platform, has responded to a warning by Singapore’s regulator by entirely halting its trading and payment services in the city-state.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said earlier this month the country’s central bank found Binance to be in breach of local laws, adding to a mounting list of jurisdictions scrutinizing the influential crypto hub.
Binance will cease access of users in Singapore to certain functions on Binance.com, according to a blog post today. The ban includes fiat deposit services, spot trading of cryptocurrencies, the purchase of cryptocurrencies through fiat channels and liquid swap.
The halt will begin as of October 26, and users have been advised to cease all related trades, withdraw fiat assets and redeem tokens to avoid potential trading disputes.
The exchange has previously removed Singapore dollar trading pairs and payment options alongside its app from Singapore’s online stores.
The announcement comes as a blow to Binance’s efforts to comply with the regulators’ demands across the globe. The cryptocurrency exchange has recently shut down its futures and derivatives business across Europe, as well as Hong Kong, and Australia, as a “proactive” measure, according to Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is updating its regulatory framework for crypto-related activities, including digital payments. The law cited in its statement, Payment Services Act (PSA), covers all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore, bringing Binance and its peers under anti-money laundering and counterterrorist-financing rules.
Interestingly, the MAS warning didn’t include the domain name of Binance’s Singapore website as it only blacklisted the parent’s website, Binance.com.
The recent crackdown comes a few weeks after Binance hired Richard Teng, the former chief regulatory officer of the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX), to lead its Singapore operations. He joined the firm as the CEO of Binance Singapore, which operates under the domain Binance.sg, as part of its effort to court global regulatory bodies.
Teng led the regulation division at the SGX, where he was responsible for policy framework relating to listing, trading and clearing activities. Before that, he spent 13 years with the country’s watchdog as director of corporate finance. Most recently, he was the CEO of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority at Abu Dhabi Global Market.
Binance’s Singapore entity has already submitted a license application to the country’s regulator. As such, Binance.sg is currently exempt from holding a license until the review of its license application is completed.