Is Binance eyeing Middle East after Singapore pull out?

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Is Binance eyeing Middle East after Singapore pull out?

 Is Binance eyeing Middle East after Singapore pull out?
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Highlights 

  • Binance announced that it would be withdrawing its application for a crypto license in Singapore.
  • From 13 December, no new user registration would take place on Binance.sg.
  • However, the users would be able to continue to buy and sell cryptocurrencies with their existing assets until 12 January next year.

World’s leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance on Monday, 13 December, announced that it would be withdrawing its application for a crypto license in Singapore. The decision comes after a year-long battle to convince the authorities to grant them license to run a bourse in the country. In a statement, the crypto exchange announced that it will wind down its operation by 13 February 2022.

When Binance had applied for the bourse last year, many had guessed that the exchange is planning to make Singapore its global headquarters. But experts feel that continuous back-and-forth with the Monetary Authority of Singapore for the permit to provide cryptocurrency services and other regulatory issues could have been behind Binance’s latest step.

The company has declared that from 13 December, no new user registration would take place on Binance.sg and the existing users will not be able to deposit any crypto or fiat on Binance.sg with immediate effect. However, the users would be able to continue to buy or sell cryptocurrencies with their existing assets until 12 January 2022. After 13 January, even the buying and selling of crypto from existing assets would be banned.

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Binance’s stake in HGX

While Binance may be withdrawing its application, but it’s not completely moving out of the region. In fact, on 8 December it had announced that it will be acquiring 18% stake in the Hg Exchange (HGX).

HGX, a regulated private securities exchange, is expected to give Binance a presence in the region and also expand its operations into alternative assets such wine, art, and real estate. Following the partnership announcement, Richard Teng, Binance Singapore chief executive, said that the company would work closely with key government agencies to support the growth of the blockchain ecosystem in the country.

Also read: 5 Crypto Debuts to Watch Out for in 2022

However, Teng said that Binance Asia’s latest decision is based on company’s strategic, commercial and development. Though experts believe that this development could raise concerns about Teng’s future in the company.

Is Binance eyeing Middle East after Singapore pull out?

Binance’s next focus

This latest move has raised probabilities for Binance to set up a global office in the Middle East, which is fast becoming a pro-crypto nation. In fact, in October, the UAE Central Bank announced the launch of a digital-asset framework, where regulators in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are contemplating crypto licensing soon.

Besides, the leading exchange is also speculating to start a crypto exchange in Indonesia. It is in talks with Indonesia’s richest family, the Hartonos for the same and is targeting to reach to the PT Bank Central Asia (BCA).

Conclusion

From the recent pull out it seems Binance is still looking for better options for its global expansion. Only time will tell what Binance’s next move would be. A few weeks ago, Binance had expressed its interest to restart the UK operations with Britain being a hotspot for crypto operations at present. Experts believe that it won’t be a surprise if Binance explore UK as its hub for global operations.  

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