The Vertex Ventures network has announced a “strategic investment” in Binance, as part of a wider deal that will result in the creation of Binance Singapore.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volumes, is the latest company to secure the backing of Vertex Ventures, a group of investment companies indirectly owned by the government of Singapore.
Vertex, with around $2.5 billion in assets under management, will partner with Binance on the launch of the new Singapore exchange as part of the deal, which will provide fiat-to-crypto exchange for Singapore-based customers.
Headed by legendary CEO Changpeng Zhao, better known in crypto circles as CZ, Binance first announced its intention to expand into Singapore back in September. While on today’s volumes Binance is primarily a crypto-to-crypto exchange, the Singapore project is being seen as a bid to broaden the company’s fiat exchange offering.
Choon Chong Tay, managing partner at Vertex Ventures China, described CZ as “one of the most well-respected entrepreneurs in blockchain with high inspiration to build and promote the blockchain ecosystem.” His counterpart at Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India, Joo Hock Chua, said the group was looking forward to working with CZ and Binance in developing the new project.
The move follows on from a similar launch in Uganda, with the first customer deposits in local currency being accepted from this week. In a country where only 11% of the population currently holds a bank account, Binance considers this an exciting market for the emerging cryptocurrency sector.
A compliant platform in Singapore would put Binance on the right side of regulators in the island country, after the firm’s high profile difficulties in some jurisdictions, including New York, where they have been accused of “operating unlawfully.”
After relocating from Hong Kong to the more crypto-friendly jurisdiction of Malta, Binance hopes the Singapore project positions them as a regulated platform for regional Asian trade, with legal and regulatory certainty as a compliant exchange.
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