The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the financial regulator and the central bank of Singapore, has put crypto exchange Binance.com on the investor alert list.
The agency’s investor alert list lists unregulated firms that may have been wrongly considered unlicensed or unregulated by the regulator.
However, what makes this matter interesting is that Binance’s Singapore – Binance.sg – is not currently on the investor alert list.
Therefore, it is unclear why MAS has placed Binance.com on the investor alert list and not Binance.sg – Binance Singapore. It is unclear further whether the regulator classifies Binance.sg the same as Binance.com.
The development comes one week after Binance.com hired Richard Teng, the former chief regulatory officer of the Singapore stock exchange, as CEO of Binance Singapore. Teng also worked at the MAS for 13 years, where he grew his career to become a director of corporate finance at the agency.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Binance Group talked about the matter and clarified that Binance.sg and Binance.com are different exchanges.
The spokesperson said that Binance Singapore – Binance.sg – does not offer any services or products via the Binance.com website.
“Binance Singapore operates in Singapore with its local executive and management team. It is backed by Vertex Ventures Holdings and is solely focused on growing the Singapore cryptocurrency ecosystem and servicing users in Singapore,” the spokesperson stated.
In August, a spokesperson from MAS stated that Binance Singapore is an entity that operates through Binance Asia Services Pte limited.
The MAS spokesperson disclosed that although Binance Asia Services Pte Ltd is not currently licensed, it has applied for a license, and the regulator is reviewing the application. The spokesperson further stated that Binance.sg is exempted from holding a permit under Singapore’s Payment Services Act until the application is approved, withdrawn, or rejected.
Therefore, the addition of Binance.com into the MAS’s investor alert list may serve as a reminder of the aforementioned preexisting circumstances and that although Binance.com is temporarily exempt, it remains unlicensed.
Binance Facing Pressure from Other Regulators
The development is the latest in Binance’s ongoing war with regulators.
A few months ago, financial regulators across the world targeted Binance, the major cryptocurrency exchange. Some regulators have banned the exchange from certain activities, while others have warned consumers that the exchange is unlicensed to operate.
Binance is the largest crypto exchange in the world. In July, its trading volumes were $454 million, down almost a third from a month before the platform started facing wrath from regulators.
Binance has been facing regulatory scrutiny from regulators all over the world. In recent weeks, many regulators, including Britain, Hong Kong, Italy, Malaysia, Japan, and Germany, have issued warnings against Binance.
On August 18, the Dutch central bank stated that Binance did not comply with the country’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financial laws.
Binance also has been under investigation by the US Internal Revenue Services and the Department of Justice.
Binance has publicly responded to such cases by saying that it takes compliance obligations with seriousness and is committed to complying with all regulatory requirements wherever it operates its business.
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