Updated: Sep 6
Update (6/9/2021): Binance has announced they will stop offering some products in Singapore such as Singapore dollar trading pairs and payment options, while also removing the app from the Singapore iOS and Google Play stores. Binance users have been advised to complete all peer-to-peer trades by Thursday to avoid any disputes.
Binance.com — the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trading volume — has been ordered by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to stop providing payment services in the country and soliciting business from Singaporeans. This came after various watchdogs around the world enforced regulatory actions on the firm.
MAS monitored Binance's operations and stated that the company "may be in breach of the Payment Services Act for carrying on the business of providing payment services to, and soliciting such business from Singapore residents without an appropriate licence", a spokesperson for MAS said.
The regulator also added Binance to its Investor Alert List to inform Singaporeans that Binance is not regulated or licenced to offer payment services in Singapore. Included in the list are companies not sanctioned by MAS but may give off the false impression that they are. As of 2 September 2021, there are 699 companies on the list.
MAS has been communicating with Binance Asia Services — Binance's local arm — and expects the Singapore-registered firm to suspend its facilitation of digital payment token assets transfers between Binance Asia Services and Binance.
"BAS (Binance Asia Services) will inform its customers of the appropriate arrangements as soon as practicable," the spokesperson for MAS stated.
Malaysian authorities similarly compelled Binance to halt its operations, stating that the company is illegally operating a digital asset exchange. Binance and three of its subsidiaries were added to the Investor Alert List of Securities Commission Malaysia in July 2020.
Singapore and Malaysia are not the only countries cracking down on the cryptocurrency exchange as authorities in the U.S., the U.K., Italy and Thailand have been keeping a watchful eye on Binance. Binance announced that users from Germany, Italy and the Netherlands will be unable to open new futures or derivatives products accounts. The company revealed this on 30 July 2021, 15 days after Italian market watchdog CONSOB released a statement declaring that Binance is not sanctioned to facilitate investment services and activities in the country.
Meanwhile, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission filed a criminal complaint against Binance, stating that it is conducting an illegal digital asset business without a licence required under the Digital Asset Businesses Decree.
The U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service are investigating Binance over money laundering and tax evasion charges. In the U.K., the cryptocurrency exchange has been banned from doing business.
Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission as well as Japan's Financial Services Agency warned Binance that it is not authorised to offer its services in their respective territories.
Written by Sophia Lopez
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