Binance to halt some products in S'pore after MAS warning

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance said yesterday that it will stop offering some products in Singapore after regulators said last week that the company may be in breach of the country’s Payment Services Act.

Binance said in a blog post that it will be ceasing Singapore dollar trading pairs and payment options, as well as removing the app from Singapore iOS and Google Play stores, as of Friday this week.

Users have been advised to complete all related peer-to-peer trades and remove related trade advertisements by Thursday “to avoid potential trading disputes”.

“Consumer protection is important to all of us,” Binance.com said in a statement. “We are ready to assist regulators from around the world and together find the optimal way to set a fair playing field.”

This move affects Binance.com – there have been no service changes on Binance.sg, the Singapore entity, a Binance representative said.

Binance Asia Services, which operates Binance.sg, recently submitted a licence application and is currently exempted from holding a licence for the provision of digital payment token services, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). That application remains under review.

MAS said last Thursday that Binance may be in breach of the Act for carrying on the business of providing payment services to, and soliciting such business from, Singapore residents without an appropriate licence. As a result, it was required to cease providing payment services to Singapore residents.

Binance.com was also put on the Investor Alert List.

In addition, MAS said it expects Binance Asia Services to “immediately begin an orderly suspension” of its facilitation of transfers of digital payment token assets between the firm and its parent company Binance. This means that users here will soon no longer be able to transfer funds between their accounts on Binance.com and Binance.sg.

Binance also said yesterday that it is not operating any official Telegram or online communications channels in Singapore, and that it is committed to working constructively in policymaking “that seeks to benefit every user”.

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