After the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) defended its stance in placing Binance on its Investor Alert List (IAL), local police confirmed that the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platform by trading volume is now under investigation for a potential breach of the country’s local payment services regulations.
“Police investigations are ongoing and we are unable to comment further,” authorities confirmed to Bloomberg on Tuesday. In a statement issued Monday, the MAS clarified that Binance was not banned in the country and, in fact, “was able to continue carrying out other unregulated activities in Singapore, such as corporate functions and blockchain technology services.”
The MAS also revealed that it was aware of Binance Asia Services’ continued operation in the city-state while its license application was in the process of being reviewed. And, while the business later withdrew its license application, the MAS revealed that it continued to perform “unregulated activities” in the country.
“Binance Asia Services continued to provide services to Singapore users as an exempt payment service provider while its application for a PS Act license was being reviewed by MAS. Binance Asia Services subsequently withdrew its license application but continues to carry out unregulated activities in Singapore,” the authority said in a statement.
Binance, however, shot down these allegations and said that it “takes compliance with the Singapore laws very seriously.” It also denied that it actively solicits Singapore users. The spokesperson also noted that because of confidentiality obligations, the firm could not comment on the ongoing investigations.
The statement by Binance contradicts earlier reports that Singaporeans can access Binance via its mobile app. “Some users here can now access Binance via their mobile apps to trade crypto, an activity frowned upon and discouraged by Singapore’s authorities. They used to be unable to trade crypto on Binance, while others said features were limited,” Straits Times reported last week.
The report also confirmed that Binance mobile app is now back in Singapore app. The MAS placed Binance on its IAL in September.
The company also took measures and utilized geo-blocking of Singapore IP addresses and removal of its app from the country’s app stores to show that it had stopped providing services and soliciting users in the city-state.
“Should Binance decide now to dismantle some of these restrictions, it has to continue to comply with the prohibition against soliciting Singapore users without a license,” the MAS said. Reports of Binance under the scrutiny of Singaporean regulators and authorities surface in the wake of the spectacular implosion of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, which, unlike Binance, is not on Singapore’s Investor Alert List.