Binance is reportedly making another attempt to get a crypto permit in Singapore, this time targeting institutional clients.
Rumors are that Binance's custodial arm, which it's named Ceffu, will apply for a permit to offer crypto services to institutional investors in Singapore. The move follows Binance's withdrawal of its licensing application in Singapore in 2021 due to lengthy what it called review processes. Given Binance's history in these situations, you'd have to think any sort of review process could cause problems.
Ceffu will reportedly apply to the Monetary Authority of Singapore for a custody license once it becomes available. This doesn't sound like a big deal on the surface, because Singapore is a small nation. But like Hong Kong, Singapore is a financial hub offering the world cheaper, lower-risk access to the Asian markets, especially China. Binance’s Singapore operation could host a market where companies buy commodities from China using Bitcoin instead of US Dollars.
Binance always seems to be in a bit of trouble wherever it goes, and it remains to be seen whether this new Singapore operation will operate cleanly or if it will be like Binance.US, which is accused of “off-shoring” US customers' deposits.
Binance hasn't done well over the last few months. Binance's stablecoin issuer stopped minting BUSD after being pressured by US authorities. Billions of BUSD were gone within a week, and over time this will evaporate $15B in Binance-branded stablecoin liquidity. That can't be great for the Binance Smart Chain, or Binance's BNB token.
Binance's main exchange also suffered a few minor bank runs over the same period, and while Binance remains the largest exchange in the world, it has seen billions in net outflows since December 2022.