Binance Says Singapore License Withdrawal Due to ‘Redundancy’ not AML Shortcomings

The company rejects a Bloomberg report that the license withdrawal was due to a lack of have sufficient anti-money laundering controls

article-image

Blockworks exclusive art by Axel Rangel

share

key takeaways

  • Singapore is no longer a candidate for the firm’s official home, as the exchange withdrew its application with the local regulator on December 13
  • Binance did not give a reason for the withdrawal, but Bloomberg is reporting that Singaporean regulators were concerned that the exchange could not adequately prevent money laundering or terror financing

Earlier this week Binance withdrew its application for a Digital Payment Token license in Singapore and signalled it would close its local Singaporean subsidiary, without giving a reason, leaving many to wonder why the company is seemingly abandoning the country where it was expected to set up its future headquarters

Now, Bloomberg is reporting that the exchange made the move because it wasn’t able to satisfy the Monetary Authority of Singapore that it has sufficient controls in place to prevent money laundering and terror financing. 

According to a report this summer from the Singaporean government, of the 170 firms that have applied for a DPT license, 30 have withdrawn while two have been rejected. The number of withdrawals is said to have increased to 100, according to reports. 

Investment in Singapore exchange HGX makes license ‘redundant’ 

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao tweeted that the story was “fake news” and Binance is still committed to making Singapore a crypto hub in Asia.

Loading Tweet..

“Our decision to withdraw our license application was for strategic and commercial objectives only. Binance recently made a sizable investment into the regulated exchange HGX, which rendered our application for Binance Asia Services redundant,” a Binance spokesperson told Blockworks via email. “Binance Asia Services has had a robust approach to security, including risk-sensitive application of AML/CFT measures, mandatory KYC and ongoing collaboration with Singapore Police Force’s Anti-Scan Centre (ASC) to combat ransomware, hacks and scams.”

Will Binance go to Ireland or UAE?

Even though Singapore was the expected home of Binance, as the company made efforts to hire former Singapore Exchange executive Richard Teng as CEO of its local subsidiary in August, the exchange was rapidly working on a Plan B. In late November it registered a company in tax-friendly Ireland. 

Other reports say that the exchange is in negotiations with Dubai and Abu Dhabi — two members of the crypto-friendly United Arab Emirates — to open a headquarters there. 
As per an earlier announcement, Binance will halt trading on its Singapore subsidiary in January, while shutting down the operation entirely in February.

Binance’s eponymous BNB token is down 2.3% over the past 24 hours, according to CoinGecko, and down 8% on-week.


Get the day’s top crypto news and insights delivered to your inbox every evening. Subscribe to Blockworks’ free newsletter now.


Tags

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.

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

Top Icon.png

Research

Osmosis thrived in H2 2023 on the back of increased DeFi activity deriving from recently launched Cosmos-related projects and better market conditions. With new value accrual mechanisms for the native token, Osmosis is well-positioned to continue its strong performance in 2024.

/

article-image

The hearings are expected to last for a couple of days as the court hears arguments for and against the bankruptcy plan proposed by Genesis

article-image

Equities were mixed toward the end of Monday’s session while cryptocurrencies continued their rally

article-image

Though the opposing flow trend is likely to slow over time, industry watchers note, bitcoin fund assets could one day eclipse the $90 billion gold ETF space

article-image

Celestia had the first mover advantage. EigenDA has staked ether. What sets Avail apart?

article-image

Bitcoin moved 1% higher Monday morning in New York, Matrixport analysts say $62,000 could happen next month

article-image

It’s hard to believe right now that crypto — even with all of its flexibility and massive capabilities — could ever be like cash on the internet