Huobi, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, said on Tuesday that it will no longer offer services to crypto traders and holders in Singapore.
“We will be closing the accounts of all Singapore-based users on March 31, 2022. Access to our services by Singapore-based users will also be gradually phased out prior to March 31, 2022,” the Seychelles-based company said in an announcement, adding that all registered users in the city-state should close their active positions and withdraw their assets before the deadline.
“We will be leaving and exiting all of our operations in the Singapore market. Of course, we will keep the conversations going with the governmental bodies,” Huobi Global’s global strategy director Jeff Mei told KrASIA in an interview, citing “different strict requirements for licenses” as the reason for Huobi’s departure.
Huobi Global is one of several major exchanges founded by individuals of Chinese origin. Many of these operations have been cutting ties with customers in China, where the government has instituted a blanket ban that criminalizes crypto trading and mining activities.
Two days after the ban was announced in late September, Huobi said that it had terminated account registration processes for new users in China. It also began the process of gradually retiring its existing mainland China user accounts, which accounted for 30% of Huobi’s total revenues before the ban, according to Mei.
Another popular crypto exchange, Binance, announced in September that it would suspend Singapore users from trading on its main platform, binance.com. The firm suspended its SGD trading pairs and payment options and removed its app from Singapore’s Apple App Store and Google Play.
However, Binance Asia Services, which is a separate business entity, has been exempted from holding a license under Singapore’s Payment Services Act (PSA), meaning that it is not licensed under PSA but can continue to provide services in the city-state. Binance Asia Services’ license application is currently under review by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.