In a sign that the cryptocurrency exchange does not have a valid license, Singapore’s financial regulator has put Binance.com to its Investor Alert List.
Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, has been included to the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) Investor Alert List, which was published today.
The exchange’s main website, Binance.com, rather than the exchange’s Singaporean platform, Binance.sg, is listed on the stock exchange. It is still uncertain whether Binance.sg will be categorised in the same way as Bitcoin.
According to the MAS, entities that “may have been wrongly perceived as being licensed or regulated by MAS.” are added to the Investor Alert List and placed on high alert. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator, in charge of managing both monetary policy and the country’s financial industry.
A spokesman from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) informed Decrypt in August that Binance’s registered firm in Singapore, Binance Asia Services, was not currently licensed.
In Singapore, it has applied for a license, and while the authority is conducting an investigation into it, the firm is temporarily exempt from licensing under the country’s Payment Services Act until the application is “approved, rejected, or withdrawn,” according to an official spokeswoman.
In this context, the addition of Binance.com to the Investor Alert List may serve as a reminder of these already existing circumstances, as well as the fact that, while being temporarily free from licensing requirements, Binance.com continues to operate without a license.
For Binance, the revelation is just the latest in a string of regulatory setbacks for the cryptocurrency exchange.
Binance is in the firing line
With a 24-hour trading volume of roughly $30 billion, offices located around the world, and, according to reports, no centralized headquarters, Binance has earned the ire of a number of regulatory bodies.
In other parts of Asia, both Japan and Malaysia have issued warnings that the cryptocurrency exchange is operating in their respective countries without the necessary license. Similar warnings have been issued by authorities in the United Kingdom, Italy, and the Netherlands.
Specifically, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom went so far as to state that the FCA “believes that the firm is not capable of being effectively supervised.”
This is of particular concern in light of the firm’s position in a global Group that provides sophisticated and high-risk financial products to consumers, which poses a major risk to them.”
Binance has also not remained idle in the face of these concerns. Users must perform extensive Know Your Customer (KYC) verification before utilizing the platform’s services, according to the exchange, which implemented the requirement on August 20.
This means that users must provide the exchange with personal information such as their passport data and a selfie photograph before participating.
According to reports from July, the company’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, is also considering a public listing similar to that of a competitor, Coinbase.
Whether the new battle with banking authorities around the world will have an impact on these goals remains to be seen.