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Binance Announces “Refocus” for License in Singapore, Following Application Withdrawal

Binance mentions their goal to ‘refocus’ after their application for a license has been withdrawn.

Binance
KON / Bloomberg /Getty Images

Binance, a popular crypto exchange has reportedly withdrawn its application regarding a license in Singapore.

They announced this news in an attempt to ‘refocus’ their operations in the country, as they seek to make it into a ‘blockchain innovation hub.’

The Singaporean entity of Binance, titled Binance Asia Services, will be tasked with heading this objective of the development of the global blockchain ecosystem.

Richard Teng, CEO of Binance Singapore made a prepared statement on the matter, saying “Singapore is a vibrant fintech hub and Southeast Asia is an important region for us. We plan to make further investments in the region with Singapore as one of the centers for technology, research and development.”

Teng further commented “We always put our users first, so 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 third-party services.”

Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao also shared his thoughts on the situation. Taking to Twitter, he said “Binance made a sizable investment into regulated exchange HGX last week. This investment made our own application somewhat redundant.”

While Zhao said their application became redundant, the fact that the exchange has withdrawn its application has undeniably turned out to be another unsuccessful attempt to acquire operating licenses. This is pretty similar to the situation they faced in the UK, as well.

Throughout their troubled regulatory history, Binance also ran into some issues with the MAS, or Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Back in August, Binance Asia Services was exempt, albeit temporarily, from needing a license under Singapore’s Payment Services Act. The reason for this was that the entity was carrying out would-be-regulated activities just before the Act took effect in January 2020.

This enabled the MAS to review those license applications in retrospect. Though, it’s important to note that there wasn’t a guarantee the exchange would prove successful in its own application.

A spokesperson from the MAS spoke with Decrypt about the situation, stating that “We are aware of the actions taken by other regulatory authorities against Binance and will follow up as appropriate with the applicant.”

Furthermore, said spokesperson mentioned a ‘significant number’ of similar firms that also had their application licenses rejected. A month later, the MAS placed Binance on the country’s Investor Alert List, which is a list that adds entities when the MAS believes they “may have been wrongly perceived as being licensed or regulated by MAS.”

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