If you’ve been scrolling through your social media feeds or meeting friends for some socially distant catch-ups, you may have come across a mention of Binance. You may have heard that you can use it to trade cryptocurrencies or to earn income at the same time. And if that piqued your interest enough to try and open a Binance account, you might also have noticed something else: trading isn’t actually allowed in Malaysia.
What does this mean for aspiring traders and investors? Here’s what you need to know about Binance and if you can use it in Malaysia.
What’s wrong with Binance?
Binance is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. On April 13, a total of US $ 40.33 billion was traded on the exchange over a 24-hour period, more than 50 times the volume traded on Bursa Malaysia, which totaled RM3,146.74 million. (or $ 0.77 billion) when the market closed on the same day.
What makes it so popular?
- Lots of cryptocurrencies. Binance allows you to trade over 150 different cryptocurrencies.
- Other characteristics. You can earn more cryptocurrency by staking (keeping your funds in a cryptocurrency wallet to earn rewards), loaning your funds for interest returns, earning rewards for completing challenges and more. .
- Low fees. Fees start at 0.1% and go as low as 0.012% if you meet certain trading or benchmark requirements.
On top of that, the exchange is also responsible for creating what is now (at the time of writing) the third most valuable cryptocurrency in the world behind Bitcoin and Ether: Binance Coin (BNB). It is used to buy and sell other cryptocurrencies on Binance, as well as to cover trading costs. As of April 25, it was valued at US $ 505.08. That’s an increase of almost 3,000% from the same date last year, even surpassing Bitcoin, which rose 547% over the same period.
Can you use Binance in Malaysia?
Officially, no. But technically …
Here’s the thing: Binance is listed on the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) Investor Alert List, which identifies unauthorized websites, products, companies or individuals. The SC advises investors not to invest in companies or individuals that are not authorized or approved.
The SC’s official reason for placing it on the alert list is that Binance operates a “recognized market without authorization.” Decrypt reported that Binance could have been blacklisted because it made Ringgit available on its peer-to-peer exchange, although it does not have the license to do so. He also promoted his platform to Malaysians and also attempted to release a crypto debit card in Malaysia without approval.
But that does not prevent Malaysians from using the platform. One cryptocurrency trader we spoke to revealed that Binance is still popular among Malaysian investors and traders, thanks to the range of tradable currencies on the platform.
Does this mean Binance is not safe to use?
The SC is a valuable reference for investors. It conducts investment education initiatives and issues regulations that protect us from fraud. “Investors who deal with unauthorized or unauthorized entities or individuals are exposed to various risks, including fraud and money laundering, and may not have access to legal remedies in the event of a dispute,” warns the C.
While Malaysians are advised not to deal with unlicensed entities, being on the SC’s whistleblower list does not necessarily indicate a fraudulent platform. Binance is not licensed or regulated in Malaysia, but there are a few exchanges under the Binance brand, including Binance Singapore and Binance.US, which are fully compliant with the local regulations of the countries in which they operate.
You can still technically choose to invest with Binance anyway, but you do so at your own risk. And the risks are sometimes high – a quick glance at the Binance subroutine shows a ton of threads of disgruntled users who have discovered missing coins or been blocked on their accounts. According to these users, Binance customer support does not respond to their cases until weeks later, if at all.
Some US citizens said they were able to resolve their account issues by reporting to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Malaysians will not have this option, as the exchange is not regulated here.
Recently, a Malaysian user also shared on a Bitcoin Facebook group that his account was frozen while attempting to purchase cryptocurrency with his BigPay card. When they contacted customer service, they were told that they had identified themselves as one of the “unsupported countries” and that Binance’s services were no longer available to them. The user was unable to withdraw the credits from their account.
Difficulties accessing an unauthorized site
Trading with Binance may not be easy for Malaysians. Binance recently added a slew of e-wallets to its list of supported payment options for peer-to-peer transactions, including GrabPay, Touch ‘n Go eWallet, and ShopeePay. But soon after, Grab started banning transactions on the platform, while reminding users that transactions to unauthorized or unlicensed platforms are not allowed.
The SC could also make accessing the platform more difficult for Malaysians. Recently, it blocked access to Remitano, another popular cryptocurrency platform that was on its alert list to operate without a license. Investors were urged to withdraw all their holdings. You currently cannot access Remitano unless you change your DNS settings or connect through a VPN.
What other options are there?
If you want to play it safe, consider investing through SC-approved cryptocurrency exchanges. Currently, that means three platforms: Luno, SINEGY and Tokenize. They don’t offer the wide range of coins on Binance, or the extra features like the ability to wager your tokens, but they are regulated in Malaysia. If there is any dispute, you would have a better chance of being able to resolve it through the official channels.
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