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Luno, a leading crypto exchange owned by the beleaguered Digital Currency Group, has shut down its operations in Singapore amid growing scrutiny surrounding the crypto industry. Despite the tightening regulations, bankrupt lender Babel has successfully extended its bankruptcy protection within the region.

Luno winds down operations in Singapore

Luno announced its plans to exit Singapore in an official statement, announcing that it will no longer provide its services to Singaporean customers effective June 20, 2023. Additionally, the exchange will rescind its application for licensing from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

The statement notes that Luno made the decision to withdraw following a thorough assessment of its global strategies. Luno’s Singaporean customers are advised to withdraw their crypto assets and/or Singapore dollar (SGD) from their wallets by June 19, 2023, to enable a seamless withdrawal process. 

The announcement comes amid the crisis surrounding Luno’s parent company Digital Currency Group (DCG). Most recently, FTX filed a lawsuit against DCG over alleged mismanagement. Notably, CoinDesk, one of DCG’s subsidiaries, has been exploring the possibility of a sale in the midst of the crisis. While Luno did disclose any connection between its recent decision and the DCG issue, it did confirm that its operations in other regions remain unaffected.

The exchange acknowledged that many of its Singaporean clients would be disappointed by the decision but noted that it remains resolute in making crypto accessible to everyone. Despite winding down operations in the city-state, Luno believes that Singapore has the potential to spearhead the utilization of cryptocurrencies to create a transparent and robust financial system. 

Once lauded as one of the most crypto-friendly regions globally, Singapore has welcomed a flurry of crypto entities due to its regulatory climate. However, the city-state has recently taken a stricter stance on crypto regulations in response to the industry’s recent implosions.

Babel extends protection in Singapore

Despite the increasing scrutiny, Singaporean authorities have tried creating a thriving environment for the crypto scene. A recent report from Bloomberg revealed that a Singaporean court had given Babel debtors an extension of its moratorium to enable it to work out a way to settle its creditors.

The bankrupt crypto lender has been given an additional 3-month period to enable it to carry out its restructuring exercise for creditor settlement, said Flex Yang, co-founder of Babel. Accordingly, the extension brings the moratorium to a deadline of July 21.

Last month, Babel proposed introducing a new DeFi project called “Babel Recovery Coins.” The company disclosed plans to leverage the project to generate enough revenue to repay $766 million to creditors.

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