Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has announced the upcoming unveiling of a fiat currency exchange currently under testing in Singapore. Speaking at an event in Singapore on September 15, Zhao revealed that the new exchange will become available for Beta testing by invitation only.
Singapore’s Cryptocurrency Love Affair
“I just slipped that we will begin #Binance Singapore fiat exchange live money closed beta testing on Sept 18th, in 3 days. Invitation only first. Exciting! https://t.co/Hzo6jLLkfS”
The only detail offered was that the beta testing will take place by invitation only under artificial test conditions, but there has been speculation that the fiat exchange will probably offer Singapore dollar trading pairs.
This becomes the latest crypto-related innovation pioneered in Singapore, which is a 5-million strong “Asian Tiger” economy at the forefront of global crypto and blockchain development. Despite its 2017 ranking as number two on the World Bank’s global ease of doing business list, Singapore does not, however, recognize crypto as legal tender.
As a result, crypto exchanges are not regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, but they are required to comply with Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT) regulations.
This relatively laissez-faire regulatory approach has made Singapore a favored destination for blockchain research companies and cryptocurrency startups looking for a base from which to gain a foothold in the Asian market. The small island state is now recognized as one of the major global crypto hubs alongside Hong Kong, South Korea, Malta, and the USA.
Binance Heads to the Moon
Over the past year, Binance has defied the general crypto market downturn as well as a draconian crypto ban in its native China to engage in a campaign of aggressive global expansion. The company recently outlined its strategy for expanding across Africa, which promises to be the world’s last huge and untapped market opportunity. It has already opened up shop in Uganda as part of this strategy, in addition to new offices in Liechtenstein, Malta, Jersey, and South Korea, all of which have taken place over a period of 18 months.
According to data from CoinMarketCap, Binance regularly achieves daily trade volumes in excess of $800 million, which means that it has access to potentially market-leading liquidity ratios for its trading pairs. It is believed that Binance will leverage this to offer fiat exchange services on the new Singaporean platform.
Thus far, the idea of a crypto exchange offering fiat-to-fiat exchange services remains untested in the “wild”, so it will be interesting to see how the Binance beta test turns out.