Singapore – The operator of Binance.com has been ordered to stop offering payment services here and to stop soliciting business from residents of Singapore as it does not have a proper license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
The Straits Times is looking into this saga so far.
1. What is Binance and how does it work?
Binance is the operator of Binance.com and the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by trading volume.
It claims to have an average daily trading volume of $2 billion (S$2.7 billion) and processes 1.4 million transactions per second. It issues its own digital currency – Binance Coin – which is traded with the BNB token.
It was established by Chinese Canadian Zhao Changpeng in 2017. It does not have a physical headquarters but has an online presence in several countries.
Its Singapore-registered entity, Binance Asia Services, operates Binance.sg, which offers trading pairs in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Binance Coin. It also offers deposits and withdrawals in Singapore dollars via the Xfers Direct payment platform.
Binance Asia Services is exempt from obtaining a license under the Payment Services Act of Singapore to provide digital payment token services while its license application is being reviewed.
2. What countries have taken action against Binance and why?
In April, German financial regulator BaFin warned that Binance may have violated securities rules over its launch of trading in stock tokens because it did not first publish a prospectus for investors.
In May, it was investigated by the US Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service over concerns that cryptocurrencies were being used to hide illegal transactions, including theft and drug deals, and that Americans who had made windfall profits were betting on a rapid rise in the market and evaded taxes.
In June, its British arm, Binance Markets, was banned from conducting regulated business in the country over concerns that it had not done enough to prevent money laundering and other financial crimes on its platform.
It has also been investigated by India’s Money Laundering Agency on suspicion of violating foreign exchange rules.
On June 25, Japan’s financial services agency warned Binance against providing services in the country without permission.
In July, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission said that Binance is not authorized or registered to offer securities. Binance then said it would restrict Hong Kong users from trading derivative products.