HONG KONG (Reuters) – Embattled Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, said it will restrict its services in Singapore days after the city state’s central bank said it should stop offering payment services.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore became the latest regulator to take aim at Binance, warning last week that its global platform, Binance.com, could be breaking the law by providing payment services to Singapore residents without an appropriate licence.
Binance.com will stop offering Singapore dollar payment options and Singapore dollar trading pairs from Sept. 10 and the app will be removed from the Singapore iOS and Google Play stores, it said in a post on its website.
The restrictions only apply to Binance’s global platform and not its Singapore platform, which Changpeng Zhao, the company’s chief executive has urged users to switch to.
Crypto exchanges like Binance, which previously could serve almost all markets in the world via one platform, are now increasingly running into resistance from local regulators.
In recent months, regulators in Britain, Italy and Hong Kong have said Binance units are not authorised to carry out some activities in their markets, while Malaysia’s financial regulator reprimanded the exchange for operating illegally in the country. Bloomberg also reported earlier this year that Binance was under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service.
Zhao said last month he wanted to improve relations with regulators.
(Reporting by Alun John; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
Editor’s comment: cryptocurrencies are gaining a lot of attention right now, as regulators try to get to grips with this uncertain investment opportunity. This move by Binance comes at a time when market leader PayPal is edging into the market and mulling a service that offers customers the ability to trade through its app. It is already showing the way and innovating in many different areas.