Binance, owned by billionaire Changpeng Zhao, has scaled back its services to Singaporeans as the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange seeks to comply with regulatory standards issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
The company said on Monday that users in Singapore will no longer be able to deposit fiat currencies, place instant trades or purchase any cryptocurrency on its global platform Binance.com, starting October 26.
The crypto giant said the latest move is aimed at bringing its services “in line with its compliance obligation.” It advised users in the city-state to stop all related deals, withdraw fiat assets and redeem tokens by the October deadline.
Binance said its global platform is constantly evaluating its offerings to ensure that they not only meet customer demand, but also comply with local regulations. “We are working closely with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and other global regulators to comply with relevant regulatory standards and facilitate any required changes to the service,” the company spokesperson said in an email. “We actively keep pace with changing policies, rules, and laws in this new space.”
The latest restrictions do not apply to the company’s local platform, Binance Singapore, which is operated by its subsidiary Binance Asia Services. This entity is allowed to operate under an exemption and has applied for a license from the Monetary Authority.
Earlier this month, Binance.com suspended the Singapore dollar trading pairs and payment options in the debtor country. Its app has also been removed from the local iOS and Google Play stores. The compliance came shortly after the monetary authority put the cryptocurrency trading platform on its investor alert list, which includes unregulated entities that may be “mistakenly perceived as licensed or regulated” by the authorities.
Financial regulators around the world have put Binance on scrutiny in recent months, citing concerns about the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering and the high-risk nature of its products. UK regulators have banned Binance from operating in the country, while places such as Hong Kong and Japan have issued warnings against the exchange.
In response, Binance has taken a series of measures in an effort to comply with an evolving set of regulations in different markets. The company is finalizing its product offerings, ramping up customer verification procedures and expanding its team with employees who have experience in regulatory compliance. Last month, Binance appointed the former regulatory director of the Singapore Stock Exchange, Richard Teng, as CEO of its Singapore branch.
“We stand ready to help regulators from around the world and together we find the perfect way to create a fair playing field – consumer protection is important to all of us,” a Binance spokesperson said. “We are committed to our industry in the long term. Term and would like to create a sustainable ecosystem around blockchain technology.”
Zhao, or CZ as he is also known, founded Binance in 2017, and built it into the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, according to CoinGecko’s ranking. The company’s main platform has recorded an average daily trading volume of $2 billion and more than 1.4 million transactions per second, according to Binance.com.