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26 January 2022
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Binance Asia Acquires 18% Stake in Singaporean Securities Exchange HGX

Despite being stuck in regulatory limbo, Binance Singapore has acquired a stake in a MAS-regulated platform.

Binance Asia Service (a.k.a Binance.sg), the Singaporean arm of the world’s leading cryptocurrency trading venue, has invested in the private securities exchange – HG Exchange (HGX) – on December 8th.

Binance’s Strategic Stake

According to the official press release, BAS revealed an 18% post-money stake in HGX. Richard Teng, the CEO of Binance Singapore stated that the platform plans to work collaboratively with HGX ​to foster the blockchain ecosystem in the region and added:

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“Crypto and traditional financial offerings continue to converge. Through this investment, we seek to work with HGX in enhancing offerings of products and services supported by blockchain technology.

In Singapore, we continue to work closely with key government agencies to support the growth of the blockchain ecosystem and development of requisite local talent needed.”

For the uninitiated, HGX was founded by prominent institutions such as brokerage firm PhillipCapital, financial service group PrimePartners, and investment firm Fundnel. Additionally, it is powered by the blockchain platform Zilliqa. Singaporean regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), recently granted HGX a Recognized Market Operator license.

Regulator Tussle For Binance Not Over

Despite acquiring an 18% stake at the regional private securities exchange and getting access to engage with a regulated market operator, Binance is yet to cement its position in Singapore.

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Reports earlier suggested that the cryptocurrency firm planned to withdraw its application from the region. Singapore is a tough nut to crack. Besides, with the mounting regulatory threat across different parts of the world, the CZ-led exchange is now looking elsewhere to build its headquarter.

It’s important to note that Binance’s Singaporean entity is under an exemption from holding a license under the city-state’s Payment Services Act (PS Act) for the provision of digital payment token services. In short, Binance Asia Services’ license is still being processed by MAS.

Meaning, the platform is allowed to offer services until its application is being reviewed and will cease after a response from the regulatory authority, be it approval, rejection, or withdrawal. If Binance plans to withdraw its license, the users in the region would not be able to buy and trade crypto-assets through the platform legally.

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Earlier in September this year, MAS added Binance.com to its Investor’s Alert List that provides a list of unregulated platforms which may have been mistakenly perceived as being licensed or regulated by the authority. Shortly after, a Binance official clarified that the two entities – Binance.com and Binance Singapore (Binance.sg) – are separate platforms.

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