Binance Continues to Plant Seeds for Singapore Move

Binance registered a new company and made a key regulatory hire in the city state, but the timeline for departure is unclear.


Source: Shutterstock


key takeaways

  • Binance recently hired former Singapore Exchange chief Richard Teng and registered a new company in the city in June while its Monetary Authority is reviewing its payment license
  • But it’s unclear when the company plans to make the move, as a search of the Cayman Islands corporate directory shows it hasn’t been ‘struck off’ as some claim

Singapore could be the new home of Binance as the company begins the process of registering a presence on the fintech-friendly island and staffing its operations with influential hires. 

However, the narrative of Binance needing to rush to Singapore expeditiously because its corporate structure in the Cayman Islands is on the verge of being deleted isn’t exactly the case as corporate filings from the offshore territory have revealed. 

Recently, the exchange announced it had hired former Singapore Exchange executive Richard Teng as CEO of Binance Asia Services Pte, a company it registered in Singapore in 2018. But the company also has registered another firm, Binance Pte, as of June 2021. Binance also has a firm called Binance Blockchain Technology Development Pte in the city. A month prior, Binance registered another firm by the same name, Binance Ltd, in Hong Kong. 

According to experts Blockworks spoke with, Binance’s Asia Services corporation in the city exists to employ staff and provide a vehicle for registration with regulators for financial supervision. Binance’s Blockchain Technology Development Pte firm exists to license the technology behind Binance’s software to regional subsidiaries in exchange for remitting back trading fees and therefore reducing tax liability in its operating region.

Currently, Binance has dozens of local subsidiaries around the world where it employs staff and markets itself to traders. This is similar to the Dutch Sandwich or Double Irish structures employed by US technology companies like Apple or Microsoft to migrate profits from intellectual property over to tax-friendly jurisdictions. 

At this time, Binance is not licensed in Singapore under the city state’s Payment Services Act as a digital payment token services provider. The Monetary Authority of Singapore says it’s reviewing the application, but the exchange is allowed to operate under a grace period that exists until the application is approved, rejected or withdrawn.

Rushing off to Singapore?

But does Binance really need to hurry over to the capital of Southeast Asia’s financial industry? 

The narrative has been that the exchange is packing up and leaving the Cayman Islands via a “strike off” (a form of dissolution), and an apparent filing from Cayman’s corporate registrar says it’s due to be dissolved on October 29.

However, a filing retrieved by Blockworks from the island’s corporate registry has no such reference on it and says the company is still active.  

Regardless of whether Binance needs to hurry over to Singapore, it might be in the best interest for the exchange to do so given Singapore’s reputation compared to the Cayman Islands. 

“Singapore is widely considered to be the blue-chip destination for financial and regulatory security and oversight. Setting up shop in Singapore effectively gives Binance the ‘Good Housekeeping’ stamp of approval and should help to eliminate some of the headwinds they have been facing recently in other jurisdictions,” Michael Conn, CEO of Singapore-based Zilliqa Capital, told Blockworks. “Setting up their business in Singapore will make it much easier for Binance to pursue a traditional equity raise, since Singapore is not seen as a tax haven or a place for shady dealings.”

Conn calls Binance’s steps toward Singapore “exciting news” given its strong regulatory protection that doesn’t handicap innovation. 

But time will tell if Binance actually sets sail and declares a headquarters on the island. 
Even though Binance has been facing an endless supply of regulatory hurdles, the market thinks this might be soon coming to a close as its eponymous token, BNB, is up nearly 60% in the last month, according to CoinGecko.

Want more investor-focused content on digital assets? Join us September 13th and 14th for the Digital Asset Summit (DAS) in NYC. Use code ARTICLE for $75 off your ticket. Buy it now.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

MON - WED, MARCH 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience:  Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats  Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts   Grow your network […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Frax report cover.jpg


Frax saw continued development in its frxETH liquid staking derivative and Fraxlend money market throughout 2023. Frax V3 introduces an RWA strategy to drive utility to the protocol's cornerstone product, the FRAX stablecoin.


On-chain debt capital markets platform deploys on Coinbase-incubated layer-2 after structured investment products push


Past performance is not indicative of future results, sure, but no need to rain on the bitcoin price parade just yet


Circle’s letter follows one from the Campaign for Accountability alleging ties to Justin Sun and TRON


Ark could look to sell its $130 million position in GBTC to inject capital into its proposed bitcoin ETF, Bloomberg Intelligence pros say


In a bid to woo institutional crypto traders, Binance wants help from a bank


Musk’s hesitation to launch his own crypto made sense in previous cycles. But there’s no shame left around here — he should just go for it