Binance is already the world’s largest crypto exchange. However, the company has been pushing into new markets, especially now that it has conquered some of the most important parts of the world.
With regulatory ire still being one of its problems, Binance is looking to end the year on a high by entering into the Indonesian crypto market.
Partnering With the Heavyweights
Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that Binance had been in talks with the Hartonos - the richest family in Indonesia - to launch a crypto exchange in the country. The report explained that the talks include a partnership with Binance Holdings Ltd. and PT Bank Central Asia - a private banking institution owned by billionaire siblings Michael and Budi Hartono. PT Telkom Indonesia, the country’s largest state-owned telecommunications firm, is also expected to be in on the deal.
The Bloomberg report claimed at the time that the banking institution would probably enter into the partnership using a separate business entity.
While those were rumors at the time, they have now been confirmed. Earlier this month, a press release confirmed that Binance had partnered with MDI Ventures, the venture capital of PT Telkom, to establish a new exchange platform in the country. As the joint announcement noted, the partnership will seek to improve blockchain technology adoption across Indonesia.
Both companies believe that the country’s population- which stands at over 240 million - has a lot to benefit from blockchain. To assist with the new exchange’s development, Binance will offer its infrastructure and superior technology, and asset management services. Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s chief executive, said of the partnership:
“Our ambition at Binance is to grow the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem globally, and this initiative in Indonesia is a significant step in that direction. With fast technology adoption and strong economic potential, Indonesia could become one of the leading centers of the blockchain and crypto ecosystem in Southeast Asia.”
Cementing Its Entrance in a Thriving Country
As for the Hartonos, it is unclear whether they are to be included in the partnership. The press release didn’t reveal any other entities that are part of the deal, although MDI is confirmed to be leading other firms in partnering with Binance.
Whether the Hartonos are involved isn’t so relevant, of course. Binance is partnering with Indonesia’s largest telecoms firm, which should give the company enough foothold to expand across the country. Indonesia also has positive crypto regulations, and Binance will be looking to leverage that as well.
Interestingly, this won’t be the only crypto venture for Binance in Indonesia. Back in May 2020, the exchange invested in Tokocrypto - a local regulated crypto exchange in Indonesia. Tokocrypto became the first exchange in the country to get regulatory approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency, making it a hotbed for anyone looking to get a piece of the crypto pie in the country.
For now, it would be interesting to see how Binance’s new exchange can compete. It would first need to register with the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency, although that shouldn’t be a problem. Exchanges looking to get approval will need to show proof of strong risk management and security, and Binance has that in spades.
Binance Hits a Snag in Singapore
Entrance into Indonesia’s market is coming after Binance faced significant pushback in Singapore - another growing crypto market. The exchange announced earlier this month that it plans to close all of its services in Singapore after it withdrew its application with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for a digital payment token services license.
Binance.sg has already stopped onboarding new users, and the exchange has also blocked Singaporeans from depositing any assets - whether crypto or fiat - to the exchange.
For now, Binance Singapore users can still buy and sell crypto. However, support for this will be closed on January 12th, 2022. From then on, users would only be able to withdraw and move their funds to third-party platforms or wallets and withdraw their funds (in Singaporean dollars). By January 13th, all accounts should have been closed.
“We recommend that you take action as soon as possible before the deadline for account closure (13 February 2022). Please note that BAS will not be held responsible for any losses that result from your failure to withdraw your assets and close your account by 13 February 2022,” the exchange claimed.
Interestingly, Binance still has a presence in Singapore. The exchange recently acquired an 18 percent stake in Hg Exchange (HGX) - a private securities exchange in the country. Binance is hoping that the country’s regulatory climate will eventually change, so it can make a stronger play in the country.