Vertex Invests in Binance to Expand in Singapore

(Bloomberg) -- Vertex Ventures 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 wasn’t 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-crypto gateways and services throughout Southeast Asia, according to a statement.

Temasek Holdings Pte, a limited partner for Vertex, didn’t play a role in the transaction, according to Minh Do, a spokesman for Vertex.

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

Vertex Invests in Binance to Expand in Singapore

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 percent of its value since its late December high at almost $20,000.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.