Binance to Launch a Fiat-to-Crypto Exchange in Singapore

Siamak Masnavi

On Saturday (15 September 2018), day two of the Cumberland Summit in Singapore, Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, co-founder and CEO of crypto exchange Binance, probably the world's largest crypto exchange by traded volume, "accidentally" revealed plans to launch a fiat-to-crypto exchange in Singapore. CZ said that a close beta test would begin on September 18th.

Later that day, the Binance CEO admitted to his mistake on Twitter:

This means that it is quite likely that the Singapore exchange will be launched before the end of the year, and that it will be offering SGD/BTC and SGD/ETH trading pairs.

It is not too surprising to hear that Binance has chosen to launch in Singapore, a global financial hub with relatively low taxes, a tech-friendly atmosphere, and a reputation as a good place to launch ICOs; a few examples of ICOs launched in Singapore are TenX, Golem, and Qtum. Coinbase, Gemini, and Huobi already have a presence in Singapore. Also, foundations for Litecoin, TRON, and VeChain are based here.

In June 2018, Japan's LINE Corporation announced that it was going to launch its own crypto exchange (called BITBOX) in Singapore; this exchange began operations on 16 July 2018.

On 11 September 2018, Malta Today reported that Binance had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Malta Stock Exchange to launch a new digital exchange for security token trading. 

Although yesterday's tweet by the Binance CEO was quite interesting, perhaps his most interesting tweet was posted on 12 September 2018, when he said that he disagreed with Vladik Buterin's view that the crypto space had reached a level of maturity that meant that "1000x price increases" were no longer possible:

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$3.1 million: Crypto Exchange Cashaa Hacked for 336 BTC

London-based cryptocurrency exchange Cashaa revealed it lost 336 bitcoin, at press time worth $3.1 million, to hackers who managed to access one of its cryptocurrency wallets.

According to a tweet the exchange published on July 11, the attackers managed to access one of its wallets, and quickly transferred the funds to an address they control. From the address they went to the BTC has been through a series of hops, suggesting the use of coin mixing software to limit traceability and throw off blockchain sleuths.

Cashaa believes that the attacker may have managed to infect one of its computers with malware, and then waited for an employee to access its machine. As soon as that happened, the funds were moved out of its wallet. Reacting to the security breach, the exchange halted withdrawals and deposits and “called the board meeting to decide whether the company will bear all the losses.”

The exchange suspects the hacker is from east Delhi, India, and filed a report with the Delhi police cybercrimes department.

Cashaa also reached out to other cryptocurrency exchanges and businesses informing them of the address, in a bid to stop the hacker from cashing out. In statements provided to industry media Kumar Gaurav, Cashaa’s CEO, seemingly lashed out at trading platforms that allow hackers to cash out.

Gaurav was quoted as saying:

As of today, hackers are very confident to hack crypto addresses and move it through exchanges that are facilitating such laundering through their systems. Exchanges like these must be shut down and owners of these exchanges should be charged with money laundering facilitation crime.

CryptoCompare’s Exchange Benchmark report, as recently reported, revealed that 38% of crypto exchanges interact with high-risk entities in 25% or more of their transactions. High-risk entities are those associated with darknet markets and vendors, criminals, gambling projects, malware operators, and others.

Featured image by Kevin Ku on Unsplash