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Technology

Temasek-backed Vertex invests in Binance to develop fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange in Singapore

  • Binance plans to allows users to swap cryptocurrencies into the Singaporean dollar
  • For Vertex, investing in the cryptocurrency market is a nod to a relatively new industry
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2018, 3:18pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2018, 4:07pm

Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Temasek Holdings, said it made an investment in digital asset trading platform operator Binance to develop a fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange in Singapore.

The amount of the investment by Singapore’s state investment firm was not disclosed. Binance, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, primarily handles trades between digital tokens. The funding, which is a joint investment between Vertex Ventures China and Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India, will also support other fiat-to-cryptocurrency gateways and services throughout Southeast Asia, according to a statement.

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For Vertex, the oldest venture-capital firm in Southeast Asia, investing in the cryptocurrency market is a nod to a relatively new industry that is starting to see institutional money slowly back projects. Goldman Sachs Group and billionaire bitcoin champion Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Ventures recently invested in BitGo Holdings, a cryptocurrency custodian start-up.

Binance, a year-old company that has had run-ins with authorities in Japan, Hong Kong and most recently New York, plans to allows users to swap cryptocurrencies into the Singaporean dollar.

As more established names in the financial industry leap further in the market, questions about market stability and regulation uncertainty remain. Bitcoin has lost 67 per cent of its value since its late December high at almost US$20,000.