Binance keeps sowing seeds for a move to Singapore.

Binance registered a new company and made a key regulatory hire in the city state, but the timeline for departure is unclear.

  • Binance just hired Richard Teng, the former CEO of the Singapore Exchange, and filed a new firm in the city in June, while the Monetary Authority of Singapore is assessing its payment license.
  • However, it's unclear when the firm expects to relocate, as a search of the Cayman Islands corporate directory reveals it hasn't been "struck off," as some have claimed.

As the business begins the process of creating a presence on the fintech-friendly island and staffing its operations with influential employees, Singapore might be Binance's new home.

However, as corporate documents from the offshore territory have revealed, the story that Binance needed to travel to Singapore because its corporate structure in the Cayman Islands was about to be wiped isn't precisely true.

The exchange recently announced the appointment of Richard Teng, a former Singapore Exchange official, as CEO of Binance Asia Services Pte, a company it established in Singapore in 2018. However, as of June 2021, the corporation has registered another entity, Binance Pte. Binance also has a company in Singapore named Binance Blockchain Technology Development Pte. Binance has already formed a company in Hong Kong with the same name, Binance Ltd, a month before.

Binance's Asia Services organization in the city, according to experts Blockworks spoke with, exists to hire personnel and provide a vehicle for registration with regulators for financial supervision. Binance's Blockchain Technology Development Pte company exists to license Binance's software technology to regional subsidiaries in exchange for remitting back trading commissions and thereby decreasing tax burden in its operating jurisdiction.

Binance currently has hundreds of local subsidiaries throughout the world where it employs people and advertises its products to traders. This is akin to the Dutch Sandwich or Double Irish structures used by US IT corporations such as Apple and Microsoft to shift income from intellectual property to tax-friendly nations.

Binance is currently not licensed as a digital payment token services provider in Singapore under the city state's Payment Services Act. The Singapore Monetary Authority is now considering the proposal, however the exchange is permitted to continue operating until the application is granted, rejected, or withdrawn.

Are you on your way to Singapore?
Is it really necessary for Binance to rush to the financial capital of Southeast Asia?

The story has been that the exchange is dissolving and departing the Cayman Islands via a "strike off," and an apparent file from Cayman's corporate registrar claims it will be liquidated on October 29.

A filing obtained by Blockworks from the island's corporate registry, however, contains no such mention and states that the company is still operational.

Regardless of whether Binance needs to rush to Singapore, considering Singapore's reputation in comparison to the Cayman Islands, it may be in the exchange's best interests to do so.

“For financial and regulatory security and control, Singapore is largely regarded as the blue-chip choice. Setting up shop in Singapore “effectively gives Binance the ‘Good Housekeeping' stamp of approval and should help to erase some of the obstacles they have been having recently in other jurisdictions,” said to Michael Conn, CEO of Singapore-based Zilliqa Capital. “Because Singapore is not considered as a tax haven or a site for dubious operations, setting up their business in Singapore will make it much easier for Binance to pursue a standard equity raise.”

Binance's move to Singapore, according to Conn, is "great news" because of the country's solid regulatory protections that don't stifle innovation.

However, only time will tell if Binance actually sets sail and establishes a base on the island.
Despite the fact that Binance has faced a continuous stream of regulatory problems, the market believes this is about to stop, as its eponymous coin, BNB, has risen about 60% in the last month, according to CoinGecko.
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