It has been just over a year since China’s unprecedented ICO ban was implemented in an effort by Chinese authorities to protect investors from fraudulent cryptocurrency practices. A long-standing crypto powerhouse, China’s September, 2017 crackdown on all cryptocurrency activity created the expected grinding halt, with the immediate shutdown of ICO platforms such as ICO Info and ICO Age, exchanges like BTC China’s ICO Coin platform, Binance, and a variety of summits planned for China.
What it did not do was slow the overall rate of blockchain growth throughout Asia. Most cryptocurrency operators weathered the expected minor drops in price experienced by both Bitcoin and Ethereum as well as the crashes of Chinese ICOs and altcoins.
They were aided in part by other Asian governments who, recognizing the once in a lifetime financial windfall opportunity the Chinese government placed in their laps, made rapid changes in their own regulatory standards and crypto project and trading laws in order to attract and retain the many China-based blockchain operations seeking shelter elsewhere.
Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have all cultivated appealing environments for crypto companies, with some, such as Singapore, promising to stay away from any and all cryptocurrency regulation. In their quest to hold the top spot in the Asian financial technology market, both Singapore and Hong Kong are even offering special advantages to fintech companies in their countries.
In other words, the China cryptocurrency shutdown, while a temporary glitch, did absolutely nothing to stop the exponential growth of the Asian blockchain market. It is still projected to hit $16 billion USD as early as 2024. 2017 saw 50% growth of the Asia cryptocurrency market, and by 2018, blockchain jobs in Asia had also increased by 50%.
This has caused a strong surge in investor activity across Asian blockchain markets. One such investment is by Vertex Ventures, who have strategically partnered with Binance as they expand throughout their Singapore base. As a refugee from China’s blockchain and cryptocurrency shutdown, Binance is relatively new to Singapore, an area ripe for expansion and growth. Their partnership with Vertex Ventures will support the development of a Singapore-based fiat-crypto exchange in addition to several other cryptocurrency services and fiat-crypto platforms in the Southeast Asia region.
The Binance investment supported by Vertex was announced in September, 2018 by Binance CEO Changing Zhao (CZ), and is slated to bring a fiat-crypto exchange to Southeast Asia as early as the end of 2018. KYC/AML is underway in Singapore as Binance ensures strict regulatory compliance with the local authorities.
As a top contender for international blockchain activity, especially following last year’s China situation, Singapore has made this process simple and straightforward. Already an international financial leader, Singapore is now considered to be a gateway for blockchain services in Southeast Asia. This region is experiencing exponential population growth, and already has a population of over 650 million. For this reason alone, it is stands to support development and widespread usage of blockchain technology in the coming decades.
Vertex Ventures exists to support portfolio management for operator-investors globally, including in China, the U.S., Israel, India, and Southeast Asia. Vertex cultivates trusted partnerships with international entrepreneurs, providing operation experience and sound knowledge of capital, talent, and strategic management for growing businesses throughout the world.
Binance and Vertex together
Vertex Ventures China and Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India are collaborating on the Binance investment. Vertex Ventures China Managing Partner Choon Chong Tay had the following to say about Binance CEO and his upcoming Southeast Asia project, “Changpeng Zhao is one of the most well-respected entrepreneurs in blockchain with high inspiration to build and promote the blockchain ecosystem. He represents the new generation of China-originated entrepreneurs building products for the world.”
Vertex Ventures also states strong support of the Binance mission and vision. “Binance has a relentless focus on developing platforms with strong technology, the highest levels of security and an absolute focus on customer service. We look forward to working with Changpeng Zhao and his team to drive innovation in the space while building a sustainable and compliant platform in Singapore,” said Joo Hock Chua, Managing Partner at Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India.
Binance shares the early confidence and excitement surrounding the partnership and their upcoming joint ventures. According to Binance CFO Wei Zhou, “Vertex Ventures, which partners closely with Temasek Holdings, is the leading early-stage venture investment fund with deep roots in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Vertex has an experienced team of investment experts in the region and a strong track record of supporting innovative startups that address real world, practical issues. We look forward to building up the blockchain ecosystem and working with all stakeholders in Singapore to support continued innovation in the local fintech space.”
Having a strong existing footprint in the Asian market, premised on a blockchain ecosystem offering Exchange, Labs, Launchpad, Info, Academy, Trust Wallet, and Blockchain Charity Foundation (BCF), Binance is a global fintech leader in the blockchain space. Binance Exchange is capable of processing over 1.4 million orders per second, and as such, is one of the fastest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world today. With a strong focus on security, robustness, and execution speed, the Binance platform exists to support cryptocurrency exchange and storage at all levels, from crypto newcomers to professional traders.