Could Singapore Become The New Home of Binance?

Binance’s recent recruitment of former Singapore Exchange’s (SGX) Chief and incorporation of a new company in Singapore hints that it could have finally found its new home.

Prioritizing Compliance

Binance has hired Richard Teng, a former Chief of Singapore Stock Exchange, to helm the top position in its affiliate Binance Singapore. The move could be Binance’s approach to help resolve its regulatory woes. 

In June 2021, Binance incorporated a new company, Binance Pte. Ltd., in the island state, hinting at a possible move to Singapore as its primary corporate jurisdiction. Binance made a similar move in May by incorporating a company in Hong Kong registered as Binance Limited. Officially, Binance Holdings Limited is a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands since 2017.  

Singapore is a likely choice for companies involved in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The island country has been regarded as one of the friendliest states with its crypto-friendly regulatory framework, including Goods and Services Tax (GST) exemptions for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. 

Binance’s recent hire, Teng, is an award-winning regulator with more than three decades in financial and regulatory roles. His previous designation was as the Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an award-winning international financial center. 

Source: Binance recently incorporated a company in early June 2021, giving rise to speculation that it will be centralizing its corporate structure in Singapore

 In a statementChangpeng Zhao (CZ), the CEO and founder of Binance, 

‘Richard is a seasoned Board and C-level leader with three decades of financial services and regulatory experience. We are delighted to have Richard leading the Binance Singapore team in securing more strategic partnerships, fostering innovation, and furthering the local cryptocurrency ecosystem in Singapore’ 

Compliance First Approach 

Binance has been taking numerous steps in its effort to ramp up compliance. The latest decision to apply mandatory Know-Your-Customer (KYC) protocols with immediate effect is one of the many steps taken in its journey to be a fully compliant platform. This company holds Binance’s trademarks. 

To operate within a regulatory framework, the company must obtain the necessary approvals and licenses. The jurisdiction will be dependent on the location of the primary corporate structure. CZ has maintained that physical presence is a thing of the past, drawing reference to old text messaging methods such as SMS and MMS.  ‍

Although rumors have been circulating that Binance Holdings Limited will be struck off in October 2021, this does not appear to be true as the status of Binance Holdings Limited remains active. 

Source: Binance Holdings Limited remains an active company in the Cayman Islands

Singapore’s Regulatory Regime

Singapore regards Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other decentralized cryptocurrencies as digital payment tokens. Therefore, for any company to operate as a digital payment token services provider, it must be registered under the Payment Services Act. The regulatory body that has the authority to issue the license is the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Binance’s application is under review, and the regulatory framework allows a grace period of companies under review to operate until the application is approved, rejected, or withdrawn. 

The regulatory framework in Singapore has always been viewed favorably in many jurisdictions. Binance, by setting up its corporate structure and seeking the necessary licenses from MAS, appears to be a logical step forward. 

Localizing Binance’s Operation 

Obtaining regulatory approval in Singapore will not exempt Binance from seeking independent regulatory consent from each jurisdiction. What remains a pivotal decision is to find jurisdiction for its holding company. There is no confirmation from Binance whether such a decision has been made, but rest assured, the jurisdiction of choice will be a crypto-friendly state, and Singapore appears to fit this description.

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