Temasek-backed Vertex invests in cryptocurrency exchange Binance

The logo of Binance is seen on their exhibition stand at the Delta Summit, Malta's official Blockchain and Digital Innovation event promoting cryptocurrency, in St Julian's, Malta October 4, 2018. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Vertex Ventures, backed by Singapore state fund Temasek [TEM.UL], has invested in Binance, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, as it prepares to expand operations into the city-state, the firms said on Tuesday.

In a joint statement, the firms said the investment - the amount of which was undisclosed - will help Binance build and launch by year-end an exchange in Singapore for swapping between hard currencies and digital currencies.

The investment by Vertex Ventures China and Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India funds will also help Binance launch other exchanges and services throughout Southeast Asia.

Singapore aims to become a hub for financial technology and innovation in Asia even if some policymakers have warned about the risks of speculative investments in cryptocurrencies.

Hong Kong-based Binance was warned by Japan’s financial watchdog in March for operating without registration.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by John Geddie and Sunil Nair