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Temasek's Vertex invests in cryptocurrency exchange Binance to expand in Singapore

[DUBAI] Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Temasek Holdings, said it made an investment in Binance to develop a fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange in Singapore.

The amount of the investment by Singapore's state investment firm 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 South-east Asia, according to a statement.

For Vertex, the oldest venture-capital firm in South-east 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 and billionaire bitcoin champion Mike Novogratz's Galaxy Digital Ventures recently invested in BitGo Holdings Inc, a cryptocurrency custodian startup.

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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 Singapore 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.

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