Popular crypto exchange Binance to withdraw its crypto license application with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and wind down its services in the area, the company said in a notice on 13 December.
According to the announcement, the exchange’s local affiliate, Binance Asia Services (BAS), has dropped its application with the MAS for a Digital Payment Token License, which would have allowed it to offer crypto services to local users. The exchange has also started winding down its services in Singapore, and no longer allows the creation of new accounts in the area or the deposit of crypto and fiat.
Binance users in Singapore, however, will still be able to buy and sell crypto using their existing assets until 13 January, after which the exchange plans to disable all of its services except for crypto and fiat withdrawals. A month later, on 13 February, Binance will close all existing accounts in the area, and transfer any remaining user crypto assets to an escrow account, while fiat assets will be transferred to their owner’s “StraitsX Personal Account”.
Shortly after the news was out Binance’s CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, went to Twitter to assure the exchange’s clients that Binance will still have a presence in Singapore. He also clarified that withdrawing the MAS application was connected to Binance’s recent investment into regulated securities exchange Hg Exchange (HGX), in which it took an 18% stake. CZ tweeted:
Earlier this year, Binance was placed on Singapore’s investor alert list, which forced it to roll back its Singapore Dollar (SGD) product offerings in the country. Despite its troubles, the exchange continues to look for places it can expand to, and is reportedly in the middle of partnership talks with Indonesia’s richest family, the Hortonos, and the country’s largest telecom.