Binance has embarked on an aggressive expansion plan in Southeast Asia, where the cryptocurrency exchange seeks to leverage thriving trading activity to establish leadership in the region and strengthen its influence in local markets.
These ambitions were translated into a series of appearances made by Binance’s founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao – commonly referred to as “CZ” – over the past month throughout the region, where the business leader has met with officials, regulators and industry actors to discuss his business. . projects and aspirations, ink strategic partnerships and reaffirms its willingness to participate in legislative discussions.
In Cambodia, Binance signed an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia on June 30, 2022 to help develop a legal framework to regulate and promote the local digital asset industry. The partnership will allow Binance to share its technical knowledge and experience on digital asset operations, complete courses in digital assets and advise on regulatory issues.
In Vietnam, CZ participated in the Vietnam NFT Summit 2022 held on June 4, 2022 by the industry group Vietnam Blockchain Association, where the two organizations unveiled a partnership focusing on the exchange of research, application of blockchain technology 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 activities locally and expressed its commitment to remaining in line with local rules.
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, stating that it was interested in at least two licenses: the Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license and the electronic money issuer license ( EMI).
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 collaborating with local players to establish or strengthen its footprint.
At the Crypto Market Trends and Future Opportunities event, hosted on June 2, 2022 by Malaysian crypto exchange MX Global, Binance said it was willing to work closely with local crypto-trading platforms to raise awareness of public users and develop the industry as a whole. , and accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrency in the country.
Binance has acquired a strategic stake in MX Global, one of four regulated digital asset trading platforms in the country.
The event was attended by around 250 guests, including industry players, retail and institutional investors, as well as representatives from the Securities Commission, Bursa Malaysia and Malaysian companies.
Similarly, in December 2021, Binance in Singapore acquired 18% of the local regulated private exchange Hg Exchange (HGX), and therefore withdrew its application for a license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to offer token services.
In Indonesia, plans to launch a new digital asset exchange were unveiled last year. A joint venture consisting of Binance and a consortium led by MDI Ventures (MDI), the venture capital (VC) arm of Indonesia’s largest telecommunications company Telkom Indonesia, has been established to launch and operate the stock exchange.
The members of the consortium were not informed, but they would have access to more than 170 million consumers in Indonesia.
A similar strategy has been adopted in Thailand, where Binance earlier this year announced a joint venture with Gulf Energy Development to establish a digital asset trading platform.
Gulf Energy Development CFO Yupapin Wangviwat told Reuters in February that she expected the joint venture to take about six months to obtain the trading license, and then other features would follow.
One of the country’s largest electricity producers, Gulf Energy Development, has diversified its portfolio with investments in renewable energy, motorway 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 been under intense scrutiny and has faced numerous legislative inquiries in several jurisdictions, primarily involving allegations of money laundering and tax evasion, as well as disputes with merchants whose accounts have been defaulted.
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.
Binance was founded in 2017 and is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, handling a daily spot trade of over US $ 13 billion and a daily derivative volume of over US $ 60 billion, according to data from CoinGecko.
The company has been on a wave of expansion and is now seeking to increase its global workforce from 2,000 to less than 10,000, a top executive told Nikkei Asia earlier this month.
Selected image credit: edited from Freepik