Crypto exchange Binance has withdrawn its application with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for a digital payment token services license.
On Monday, Binance.sg stopped onboarding new users and will not allow Singaporeans to deposit cryptocurrencies or fiat on the exchange.
By Feb. 13, 2022, Binance plans to “wind down” all services that relate to dealing with cryptocurrency tokens. However, the exchange announced it would accept no responsibility for the users’ assets after the self-determined deadline:
“With immediate effect, users must start to make plans to withdraw their crypto and fiat from Binance.sg. Accounts of registered users who have not passed KYC will be suspended.”
Binance Singapore users are currently allowed to buy and sell crypto, using their existing assets until Jan. 12, 2022. Starting Jan. 13, Binance.sg users will be barred from buying and selling crypto. During this phase:
“Users can only withdraw and move their crypto to third-party platforms or crypto wallets; and/or withdraw their SGD. All accounts must be closed by 13 February 2022.”
Binance plans to make further arrangements to release users’ assets upon an official request to the company’s customer service.
Following the final date, Binance will not allow any Singapore users to close positions or withdraw crypto assets. “The locked crypto assets will be held in an escrow account and your fiat assets will be transferred to your StraitsX Personal Account,” the announcement read.
“We recommend that you take action as soon as possible before the deadline for account closure (13 February 2022). Please note that BAS will not be held responsible for any losses that result from your failure to withdraw your assets and close your account by 13 February 2022.”
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao explained that the exchange will still have a presence in the Singapore market and that the withdrawal was connected to the recent acquisition of the Singapore-regulated private securities exchange Hg Exchange (HGX). The 18% stake signaled an attempt to overcome the existing regulatory hurdles, as HGX was recently granted a recognized market operator license from the MAS.
Clarification. Binance made a sizable investment into regulated exchange HGX last week. This investment made our own application somewhat redundant. We will continue to work through our partners to grow the crypto industry in Singapore. Onwards.https://t.co/D9oywGEavV— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) December 13, 2021
Binance has not yet responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.
Despite the ongoing regulatory scrutiny, Binance continues to explore new jurisdictions for setting up localized crypto exchanges.
Binance is reportedly in talks with Indonesia’s richest family, the Hartonos, for launching an exchange service. According to a Bloomberg report, Binance may soon finalize a crypto venture with Hartonos-controlled PT Bank Central Asia (BCA).
If approved, the new BCA partnership will allow for the launch of a second crypto venture for Binance in Indonesia. The crypto exchange is also planning to expand to the United Kingdom in the next six to 18 months amid regulatory resistance.