Binance To Halt Services In Singapore
Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trading volumes, has faced a compliance crackdown from different regulators.
Following compliance issues in Singapore, the exchange has announced that it will no longer extend its services in the country.
In the recent announcement, Binance stated that as of October 26, users based in Singapore would no longer have access to some of the services offered on Binance.com.
These services include spot trading and fiat deposits related to cryptocurrency transactions. The purchase of cryptocurrencies using fiat currencies and liquid swaps will also be unavailable.
To ensure that this news does not inconvenience users, Binance has urged users to settle their traders, withdraw fiat currency and redeem their tokens before the October 26 deadline.
Regulatory Concerns in Singapore
In the announcement, Binance stated that it had decided to halt these offerings because of compliance issues. The exchange had received a warning from the Singapore financial market regulator due to its product offerings.
The Singapore Central Bank issued a warning against Binance, stating that the exchange’s operations were against the local payment laws. The country’s regulator had also ordered Binance to halt offering payment services to residents because this was against the payment rules in Singapore.
During the order, the regulator stated that
“Binance may be in breach of the Payments Services Act for providing payment services to, and soliciting business from, Singapore residents without an appropriate license.”
Binance, which has been working towards achieving compliance after a series of warnings, swiftly responded to this warning. The exchange halted several offerings almost immediately after the warning. Some of the services halted at the time included halting offering trading pairs and prohibiting payment options made in the local currency.
Binance also took down its mobile application from being accessed by Singapore users on Google Play Store and App Store.
On September 10, the Binance P2P platform also removed trading pairs made with the SGD currency in BTC, ETH and BNB. Before halting these trading pairs, Binance had urged Singapore users to close traders related to these trading pairs and remove advertisements related to trades to avoid further disputes.
However, this might not be the end of Binance operations in Singapore, as the exchange runs another local platform that has applied for an operating license with the MAS. The financial laws in the country state that firms that have filed for a license can continue to operate in Singapore as their application awaits review.
Binance Fights to Achieve Compliance
Binance has been forced to revamp some of its services and make new appointments after a series of warnings from different governments. One of the changes that the exchange has made is scrapping its stock tokens offering. This offering raises a lot of regulatory issues for the exchange.
Binance has also made several strategic appointments to top positions to bring in fresh minds to help the exchange move towards regulatory compliance.
One of the strategic appointments for the exchange was Greg Monahan. Monahan is a former U.S. Treasury staffer who now heads Binance’s compliance unit.
In July, the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, had stated that he was willing to step down and pave the way for a CEO who would steer the exchange towards compliance. He also stated that he was willing to hold discussions with U.S. regulators regarding crypto compliance.