As regulators crack down on crypto groups, groups shelter in Singapore
Binance founder among those moving to city-state as it rolls out red carpet for industry
Crypto groups are expanding their presence in Singapore as other markets crack down on the industry, attracted by Singapore’s friendly regulatory environment.
Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance, a crypto exchange that handles trillions of dollars in transactions annually, is among those moving to Asian financial hubs. The Winklebos twins founded Gemini, a US exchange, is also expanding its staff in Singapore.
Despite not issuing licenses to cryptocurrency companies, the city has granted some of the industry’s largest players exemptions, providing access to the retail and institutional investors within the city.
The crypto industry has grown at a rapid rate this year, despite America, England, and China holding down the sector. A new law in Hong Kong, a rival Asian financial center, will restrict crypto trading to accredited or institutional investors.
Singapore is a much more welcoming country. Government-owned investment firms GIC and Temasek have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in this sector. Singapore’s Monetary Authority has made it easier for foreign cryptocurrency groups to establish residents and provide services, although there are some restrictions, such as trading restrictions. Singapore’s Stock Exchange has introduced two cryptocurrency indexes.
“Crypto brothers around the world read the text on the wall and realised Singapore accepts asset classes,” said the founder of a crypto startup based in Singapore.
Binance is tax-free in Singapore, and last month advertised more than 200 jobs on LinkedIN in the city. The founder of the cryptocurrency Ether, Vitalik Buterin, is also based there.
Binance founder Changpeng Zhao lives in Singapore.
The Hong Kong-based exchange OSL is also tax exempted in Singapore and plans to double its workforce by the end of the year.
When it comes to where to locate our business, regulations are the number one determinant. ‘Singapore is clear and accurate in its interactions with the crypto and digital asset markets,’ said Canny Lee, head of OSL’s Singapore office.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss founded Gemini, which has chosen Singapore as its Asia headquarters and expects to have approximately 50 employees by the end of 2021.
“Singapore is Asia’s leading financial hub and has many wealthy clients. Since many wealth management firms require encryption solutions, we spoke with wealth management companies. Gemini Asia’s Managing Director, Jeremy Ng, said.
Cryptocurrency startup started in the city by Jihan Wu, co-founder of Chinese crypto mining company Bitmain.
About 40% of applicants under Singapore’s Payment Services Act sought to offer digital payment token services, but no “significant pickup” was observed for applications directly influenced by foreign countries.