The Singapore unit of Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange, Binance Asia Services Ltd., has reportedly withdrawn its application for a crypto permit, to operate in the city-state, submitted to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Additionally, as per a recent company statement, it would also be shutting down its operations within the global financial hub by the 13th of February.
With immediate effect, crypto and currency deposits, registrations, as well as trading on the Binance.sg portal, the Singapore trading platform of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, will be closing down. Users will be allowed to buy and sell crypto with their existing assets till 12th of January, and will have to close their accounts completely by 13th of February.
Richard Teng, CEO of Binance Singapore, stated that the decision to shut down the Singapore platform had been taken after much consideration, and that the company’s top priority now will be to assist its users in transferring their holdings and assets to other wallets or third-party services.
It had been reported earlier this month that Binance.sg was considering withdrawing its application for operating in Singapore, being stuck in regulatory limbo for months. The crypto exchange had been waiting for its local unit, backed by venture capital firm Vertex Ventures, to obtain a permit while smaller operators were getting the go-ahead.
The move also comes on the heels of the company’s takeover of 18% stake in Hg Exchange (HGX), a Singapore-regulated private securities exchange. It was believed that with this acquisition, Binance will be able to overcome the regulatory obstacles, as HGX was recently granted a market operator license by the MAS.
Binance also stated that it would be setting up a blockchain innovation hub in Singapore and exploring various initiatives including incubation programs and blockchain education, while also being on the lookout for other investment opportunities.
The city-state had proved to be a rather popular location for cryptocurrency enterprises as it offered a clearer regulatory and operating environment than most and had become one of the forerunners globally in the development of a formal licensing framework.
With Binance pulling out of Singapore, it is speculated that the firm would set its sights on either Europe or the Middle East for its global home.