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Binance follows MAS’ instructions to halt operations in Singapore

By:
on Sep 6, 2021
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  • Binance intends to terming SGD trading pairs and payments options by Friday.
  • The exchange claims this move is part of its efforts to remain compliant.
  • MAS asked Binance to halt payment services due to a possible breach of local laws.

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Renowned crypto exchange Binance has decided to terminate all services and products it offers in Singapore. The exchange announced this news on September 5, noting that it intends to cease offering Singaporeans crypto services, starting Friday, September 10. Reportedly, these changes are part of the exchange’s efforts to remain compliant.

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According to the announcement, Binance aims to stop SGD trading pairs and SGD payment options by noon UTC. Additionally, the exchange seeks to remove the Android and iOS versions of its app from the Singapore market. To prevent potential disputes, Binance has urged Singaporeans that use its platform to complete all peer-to-peer (P2P) trades as well as remove related trade advertisements by 12:00 PM UTC, September 9.

Underscoring why users should heed these instructions, Binance said it is not operating any official Telegram on online communication channels in Singapore.

Explaining the decision to pull out of Singapore, Binance said it seeks to create a sustainable ecosystem based on blockchain technology and digital assets. To this end, it is open to developments to the crypto regulatory framework, seeing as they offer opportunities for market players to join hands with regulators and come up with constructive policies.

MAS joins the list of regulators targeting Binance

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This news comes after the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, said Binance might have been violating the Payment Services Act by offering Singaporeans crypto trading services. To this end, the watchdog directed the exchange to stop providing payment services and to cease soliciting such business from Singapore citizens.

MAS also added Binance to the Investor Alert List, reiterating that Binance.com has not obtained the necessary permission to offer any payment services in the country. Binance Asia Services (BAS), a separate entity that operates Binance.sg, came out to disclose that it does not offer any services via Binance.com.

However, like Binance.com, the firm does not hold a license that allows it to offer digital payment token services. Per MAS, BAS has filed a license application, which is still under review. The authority asserts that BAS must prove it can meet the requirements under the Payment Services Act before it can get a license to provide digital payments.

With this move, MAS has become the most recent financial regulator to say Binance is operating without the relevant permissions in its jurisdictions. Before it, watchdogs from the UK, Japan, Thailand, Lithuania, and the Cayman Islands, among others, came out to make similar claims.

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