This is a first in a series of many exclusive interviews and insights into the 2 day Blockchain Fest taking place on September 18-19 in Istanbul. The event has attracted around 40 of the best crypto and blockchain firms. To start off, I have spoken with the Head of International Markets at Binance, Ted Lin. Here’s what a representative of the largest crypto exchange had to say:
Nadya: Lets first of all talk about the most recent announcement on Binance commencing beta testing of a new exchange in Singapore. Could you tell us more about it?
Ted Lin: There will be fiat to crypto pairs but not crypto to crypto pairs, introduced alongside the Singapore dollar … Usually, when we establish a fiat to crypto exchange in a particular country it will involve the legal tender of that country.
Nadya: Did you get any help from the regulators in Singapore, and what issues did you have incurred?
Ted Lin: Singapore is very much a legal framework heavy country, so any financial institutions or services will have to comply by the regulations and that means for fiat to crypto exchanges KYC or any kind of transaction monitoring will apply. In our case, we also had to come up with a very thorough framework. So, there was no particular concession or a special privilege that was confirmed - all the compliance and procedures are 100% thorough – so no special privileges were given.
Nadya: What about Malta, recently, news has surfaced of cooperation between Binance and Maltese stock exchange regarding a stable coin exchange. Could you tell us more?
Ted Lin: We will be cooperating with the Maltese Stocks Exchange to set up a new exchange to be able to trade security tokens, prior to that security tokens is not something we touched …. when one token applies to Binance we actually ask to confirm that the token is not a security one. So, we are very much aware and very careful about the securities laws in different countries. But with the advent of a partnership with the Maltese Stock Exchange, we will be able to create a crypto exchange and host the security tokens exchange pairs. It’s at the beginning of the planning stage so it will take a while before that happens.
Nadya: Do you see potential for Binance to expand further, and in what areas?
Ted Lin: Crypto is and we hope for crypto to be an additional facility for people around the world to have access to, so they become free to choose how they want to keep their assets and how do they want to retain their transfer value – so Turkish lira is volatile – so when people have a chance to choose between bitcoin and lira where volatility is being compared to the U.S. dollar, obviously lira has been much more volatile. I think having such a facility to allow people to choose for themselves is more important than whether crypto can completely replace fiat.
“In many countries where the fiat currencies are stable, they may not find a need to switch into the crypto, except for speculation and investment purposes. So, offering the choice is more important than dictating that crypto should replace fiat. “
Nadya: What about any future expansions Binance could undertake?
Ted Lin: Usually, we pick a place where there are no good fiat to crypto exchanges so we can offer a service to allow people to have a convenient way to convert.
We hope to have a few crypto exchanges in every continent - eventually even Latin America. Hopefully eventually in every currency. But it would take a long time as we get to know local regulation and requirements.
Stay tuned as there is more to come from the sidelines of Blockchain Fest in Istanbul.