Binance, owned by billionaire Changpeng Zhao, has scaled back its services for Singaporeans as the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange seeks to comply with the 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, perform spot-trades or purchase any cryptocurrencies on its global platform, Binance.com, starting October 26.
The crypto giant said the latest move is intended to bring its services “in-line with its commitment to compliance.” It advised users in the city-state to cease all related trades, withdraw fiat assets and redeem tokens by the October deadline.
Binance said its global platform has constantly evaluated its offerings to ensure they do not only meet customers’ demand, but also comply with local regulations. “We are working closely with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and other global regulators to comply with the relevant regulatory standards and facilitate any required service changes,” the firm’s spokesperson said in an email. “We are actively keeping abreast of changing policies, rules and laws in this new space.”
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The latest restrictions do not apply to the company’s local platform, Binance Singapore, which is operated by affiliate Binance Asia Services. That entity is allowed to operate under an exemption and has applied for a license with the Monetary Authority.
Earlier this month, Binance.com ceased Singapore dollar trading pairs and payment options in the city-state. Its app was also removed from local iOs and Google Play stores. The compliance came shortly after the Monetary Authority put the crypto trading platform on its investor alert list, which includes unregulated entities that might be “wrongly perceived as being licensed or regulated” by authorities.
Financial watchdogs around the world have placed Binance under scrutiny in recent months, citing concerns over the use of cryptocurrencies in money laundering and the high-risk nature of its products. Regulators in the U.K have banned Binance from operating in the country, while places like Hong Kong and Japan have issued warnings against the exchange.
In response, Binance has taken a series of measures in an effort to comply to an evolving patchwork of regulations in different markets. The firm has been winding down its product offerings, stepping up customer verification procedures and expanding its team with staff who have regulatory compliance experience. Last month, Binance appointed former chief regulatory officer of the Singapore Exchange, Richard Teng, as CEO of its Singapore affiliate.
“We are ready to assist regulators from around the world and together find the optimal way to set a fair playing field—consumer protection is important to all of us,” the spokesperson from Binance said. “We are committed to our industry for the long term and want to create a sustainable ecosystem around blockchain technology.”
Zhao, or CZ as he’s 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 recorded an average daily trading volume of $2 billion and more than 1.4 million transactions per second, according to Binance.com’s website.