Binance has announced limitations to Singaporean customers three days after the country’s central bank placed the cryptocurrency exchange on an Investor Alert List and ordered the exchange to stop soliciting business from Singapore residents.
From midday Singapore time on Friday, September 10, Binance.com will cease trading pairs with the Singaporean dollar, stop Singaporean payment options and boot the app from Singapore’s iOS and Google Play stores.
Binance advised customers to finish all trades and remove advertisements by midday UTC+8 on Thursday “to avoid potential trading disputes.”
The Monetary Authority of Singapore said on September 2 that it “is of the view that Binance, the operator of Binance.com, may be in breach of the Payment Services Act” and ordered it to stop providing payment services to Singapore residents. Then the MAS added Binance.com on its Investor Alert List.
The MAS has not listed the Singaporean version of Binance’s exchange, Binance.sg, which is operated by Binance Asia Services and remains unaffected by the ban.
Binance operates several subsidiaries companies around the world that offer reduced services to comply with local regulators. The terms of Binance.sg clarify that the site operates “independently and separate from Binance.com,” the main, global version of the exchange, and accounts on Binance.sg are not connected “in any way to accounts on Binance.com.”
However, it’s possible to access Binance.com through a VPN, and the exchange only recently started verifying its customers’ identities. Binance.com was added to the Investor Warning List because, “based on information received by MAS, may have been wrongly perceived as being licensed or regulated by MAS.”
Binance Asia Services has applied for a license and is temporarily exempt from one until the application is approved, rejected or withdrawn. Singapore’s Payments Services Act granted would-be-regulated exchanges a grace period before it went into effect in January 2020.
Singapore is the latest country to crack down on Binance. South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, the UK, Italy, the Cayman Islands, and Japan have all taken similar positions against Binance over the past few months.
But this warning hits close to home. Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s CEO, lives in Singapore, and many employees live there.