Binance is set to unveil a fiat currency exchange that will be based in Singapore. This was revealed by CEO Changpeng Zhao over the weekend while speaking at the Cumberland Summit, a blockchain event in Singapore. Zhao further revealed that the new exchange is currently under an invitation-only beta testing phase.
After making the announcement during his speech on September 15, Zhao also posted it on his twitter account where he also revealed that it will begin beta testing on September 18, 2018.
Thus far, very few details have been provided about the operational framework of the new fiat exchange, but there is speculation that it will likely offer Singapore dollar trading pairs. Fiat to fiat exchanges are still a relative novelty in the crypto world, and they remain largely untested in the “wild”. From a Binance point of view, opening a fiat exchange improves its users’ experience by enabling them to seamlessly convert across several fiat currencies and then make transactions directly from the exchange account using the new currency. Even more significantly, fiat to fiat exchanges generally offer users interbank exchange rates as against retail exchange rates, which means that users get more for their money.
Binance’s choice of Singapore for this experiment is not without precedent, as over the past few years Singapore has become one of the global crypto industry’s major hubs alongside South Korea, Hong Kong, Malta and the USA. The island state has moved toward the epicentre of global crypto innovation in part because of its relatively relaxed regulatory environment and its booming economy, often described as one of the “Asian Tigers”.
Singaporean authorities do not regulate crypto exchanges because crypto is not recognised as legal tender in the country, but exchanges are nonetheless required to abide by AML and CFT regulations.
Often described as the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume, Binance has enjoyed a red letter year despite prevailing crypto market conditions. Following a blanket ban on crypto trading in China, the company has embarked on an aggressive global expansion drive, opening up in Malta, Jersey, South Korea, Uganda and Liechtenstein.
The company recently outlined its strategy for expanding across Africa, which some see as the crypto world’s last frontier with potential for unparalleled adoption due to its relatively underdeveloped financial systems. With a daily trading volume that regularly approaches $1 billion, the exchange boasts of market-leading liquidity for a large number of trading pairs.
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