Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, has named former Singapore Exchange executive Richard Teng as CEO of its Singapore affiliate, underscoring the city-state’s growing status as a hub for digital currencies.
“We are delighted to have Richard leading the Binance Singapore team in securing more strategic partnerships, fostering innovation and furthering the local cryptocurrency ecosystem in Singapore,” Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance, said in a statement. Zhao made the Singapore’s Richest list earlier this month with a net worth of $1.9 billion.
Teng was previously CEO of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority at Abu Dhabi Global Market. Before that, he was the chief regulatory officer at the Singapore Exchange and director of corporate finance at the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
The appointment comes as Singapore builds up its fintech community, which includes cryptocurrency, blockchain and digital payment services. The city-state’s fintech sector has grown to more than 1,400 companies now compared to 100 in 2015, a Monetary Authority of Singapore spokesperson said in an email. Last year Singapore attracted more than $1.03 billion in fintech investment, 34% more than in 2019, according to the central bank.
“Singapore has a rather pro-business regulatory environment where its regulations are quite clear, although strict,” says Jason Hsu, former legislator and now vice president of Taiwan Fintech Association.
“Take cryptocurrency for example,” Hsu says. “While other countries in the region are still figuring out how to regulate, Singapore already set up legislations and policies to allow digital asset exchanges to obtain license to operate.”
Other companies have been expanding in Singapore. Earlier this month, South Korean internet giant Kakao, led by billionaire Kim Beom-su, started a blockchain business in Singapore.