Binance Asia Services (BAS) has withdrawn its application for a licence to run a crypto exchange, according to an email statement.
Its crypto trading platform Binance.sg will wind down operations and close by Feb 13.
This implies an exit from Singapore from the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, ending years of effort to operate a regulated crypto bourse under the oversight of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
“Our 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,” said Richard Teng, chief executive of Binance Singapore.
“I am grateful to the MAS for its ongoing assistance to BAS and we look forward to future opportunities to work together,” he said. BAS said it’ll refocus its operations toward the blockchain technology.
Regulatory hiccups with MAS
In September, MAS ordered Binance’s main crypto exchange Binance.com to stop its services in Singapore and placed it on the Investor Alert List.
At that time, BAS — a separate entity responsible for crypto exchange platform Binance.sg — had applied for a licence under the Payment Services Act. It was exempted from holding a licence for providing digital payment token services following transitional arrangements under the Act.
Binance.sg users will be notified via email on the next steps to take with the closing of the trading platform. Users will also be required to close all open positions and withdraw their Singapore dollar and cryptocurrency assets by the closing date.
In a clarification following the exchange’s statement, Binance CEO Zhao Changpeng said that the company made a sizable investment (18 per cent) into regulated exchange HGX last week and it’ll continue to work through partners to grow the crypto industry in Singapore .
The HGX purchase is still, however, subject to regulatory requirements.
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Featured Image Credit: Reuters