The world's top cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume is hoping to get the official green light to operate in Singapore.
According to a report from Bloomberg on Sunday, the firm's CEO and co-founder, Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, said in an interview an application has already been submitted to the island state's authorities under new legislation passed in late January.
“We submitted the application pretty fast. Binance’s Singapore entity has been in close touch with the local regulators, and they have always been open-minded,” Zhao told Bloomberg.
The updated Payments Services Act brings what are termed digital payment token (DPT) services – covering all crypto-based businesses and exchanges plying their trade in Singapore – under current anti-money laundering (AML) and counterterrorist-financing (CTF) rules.
Under the act, crypto firms are required to first register and then apply for a license to operate in the jurisdiction.
Binance already has an office in Singapore, Bloomberg indicates.
As of Jan. 28, 2020, the payments act gave existing crypto firms a month to register with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Once firms are registered, they are given a six-month period in which they must apply for their payment institution license.
Binance, once a purely crypto-to-crypto exchange, has been working to expand its user base in recent months with the addition of fiat payment gateways. Last week it added 15 cryptocurrencies through Israeli payment processor Simplex. It's also just hired a former Uber exec to help drive global growth.
While Singapore's new regime means crypto firms will have to run their operations to a high regulatory standard, it also brings them legitimacy and an official licensed status. Independent Reserve, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia, said last month that it would expand to Singapore citing "a number of positive moves by Singaporean regulators."
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