New blow for the Bitcoin king – The summer for the world’s number one cryptocurrency trader has not been a smooth one. That’s because Binance has come under intense scrutiny from regulators in the US, UK, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan. The company’s regulatory situation has deteriorated to such an extent that Changpeng “CZ” Zhao , Binance’s CEO, is actively looking for his successor. The decisive criterion in the selection process would be compliance experience.
Binance’s never-ending nightmare
At the end of August, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK threw in the towel on the Binance case. The exchange would not cooperate sufficiently with the regulator to be supervised.
This week, it was the Monetary Authority of Singapore (AMS), which is both the central bank and the financial regulator of the country, that cracked down on Binance. On September 2, the AMS effectively placed Binance on its blacklist of unregulated entities that may have been wrongly perceived as regulated by the authority.
The reason for the warning is said to be that Binance.com is operating in violation of the Payment Services Act. This is the Act that allows for the provision of payment services to Singaporeans.
This case necessarily reminds us of the Crypto.com case. During April 2021, the Financial Markets Authority placed the company on its blacklist. The regulator then accused Crypto.com of targeting the French public without prior registration. However, Crypto.com was cleared of suspicion after a few weeks.
This new regulatory pitfall does not help the business of the nebulous Binance sites. Indeed, Binance US has recently been deprived of Brian Brooks, its CEO. The former acting Comptroller of the Currency left the company only a few months after his appointment. Since his departure, Binance US has been unable to close its $100 million fundraising round. Brook had courted several banks, including SoftBank, to lead the funding round, but banks have consistently refused to fund the company for fear of regulatory fallout.
Interestingly, Binance.sg, the exchange’s Singaporean site is paradoxically not blacklisted. In fact, Binance operates in Singapore through Binance Asia Services. This entity is currently on the list of entities that have obtained an exemption from the AMS to hold a license. This means that the authority is currently considering the site’s licence application:
“Binance Singapore has applied for a licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore. We are currently operating under the relevant exemption granted by the AMS and are committed to working closely with the AMS to comply with all the standards required to obtain a license. “
The news of the blacklisting comes just after Richard Teng, the former head of compliance for the Singapore Exchange, was appointed as the new head of Binance Singapore. Let’s hope that the new leader of Binance Singapore has better longevity than his American counterpart, Brian Brooks!
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