Binance has embarked on an aggressive expansion plan in Southeast Asia, where the cryptocurrency exchange aims to capitalize on thriving trading activity to establish leadership in the region and strengthen its influence in local markets.
Those ambitions came to fruition in a series of appearances Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao — commonly referred to as “CZ” — has made over the past month in the region in which the businessman met with government officials, regulators and industry players to discuss his to discuss matters. projects and aspirations, ink strategic partnerships and affirms its willingness to participate in regulatory discussions.
In Cambodia, on June 30, 2022, Binance signed an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia to help develop a legal framework to regulate and advance the local digital asset industry. The partnership will enable Binance to share its technical knowledge and experience in digital asset business, provide digital asset training and advise on regulatory issues.
In Vietnam, CZ participated in the Vietnam NFT Summit 2022, hosted on June 4, 2022 by the industrial trade group Vietnam Blockchain Association, where the two organizations unveiled a partnership focused on research exchange, blockchain technology applications and talent training.
At another event during CZ’s visit to Vietnam, the founder shared his hope that the government would create favorable conditions for Binance to expand its business locally, and expressed his commitment to continue to comply with local regulations.
In the Philippines, CZ met with officials last month to discuss regulatory and banking support for expansion in the country. At a press conference on June 8, 2022, the company announced its intention to enter the market, declaring its interest in at least two licenses: the Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license and the Electronic Money Issuer (EMI)- license.
Binance is also looking for local partners, CZ said, and is open to investing in both local fintech and banking.
In Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore, the company is working with local players to establish itself or strengthen its footprint.
Speaking at the Crypto Market Trends and Future Opportunities event, hosted on June 02, 2022 by Malaysian crypto exchange MX Global, Binance said it was willing to work closely with local crypto trading platforms to raise awareness among public users and promote the industry as to develop completely. and accelerate cryptocurrency adoption in the country.
Binance has acquired a strategic stake in MX Global, one of the four regulated digital asset trading platforms in the country.
The event was attended by approximately 250 guests, including industry players, private and institutional investors, as well as representatives from the Securities Commission, Bursa Malaysia and Malaysian companies.
Similarly, Singapore-based Binance acquired 18% of the local regulated private exchange Hg Exchange (HGX) in December 2021, thus withdrawing its license application from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to provide token services.
In Indonesia, plans were unveiled last year to launch a new digital asset exchange. A joint venture comprising Binance and a consortium led by MDI Ventures (MDI), the venture capital (VC) arm of Indonesia’s largest telecommunications company, Telkom Indonesia, has been formed to launch and operate the exchange.
The consortium members were not disclosed, but they would have access to more than 170 million consumers in Indonesia.
A similar strategy has been adopted in Thailand, where Binance announced a joint venture with Gulf Energy Development earlier this year to establish a digital asset trading platform.
Gulf Energy Development’s chief financial officer Yupapin Wangviwat told Reuters in February that she expected the joint venture to take about six months to obtain the trade license, after which other features would follow.
Gulf Energy Development, one of the largest energy producers in the country, has diversified its portfolio with investments in renewable energy, highway projects and telecommunications.
Crypto trading boomed in Thailand with transactions reaching 251 billion baht ($7.57 billion) in November 2021, according to the Bangkok Post, citing official data. Commercial accounts jumped to about 2 million by the end of 2021, from just 170,000 earlier that year, a ministry official said in January 2022.
Binance has come under intense scrutiny and has faced numerous investigations by regulatory authorities in multiple jurisdictions, mainly over allegations of money laundering and tax evasion, as well as disputes with traders whose accounts have been breached.
Over the past year, the company has strengthened its legal, compliance and security teams and worked closely with financial regulators around the world to build trust.
Founded in 2017, Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, with a daily trading volume of over US$13 billion and a daily derivatives volume of over US$60 billion, according to CoinGecko data.
The company is undergoing a wave of expansion and now plans to increase its global workforce from 2,000 to fewer than 10,000, a senior executive told Nikkei Asia earlier this month.
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