Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, said it has received approval from the Central Bank of Singapore to provide payment services in the city-state.
The in-principle approval, which the central bank began granting to crypto businesses last year, means that individuals and institutions can use digital payment token services and that businesses are subject to central bank regulation under the Payment Services Law.
Calling it a "significant milestone," Coinbase said in a statement that it has strengthened its presence in Singapore and currently has nearly 100 employees in the Southeast Asian country, with product engineers making up the largest number of appointments.
"We see Singapore as a strategic market and global hub for Web3 innovation," said Hassan Ahmed, Coinbase's regional director for Southeast Asia.
Around 180 crypto companies applied for a crypto payments license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore in 2020 under a new system. Singapore has delivered 17 approvals and licenses in principle after a detailed due diligence process that is still ongoing.
Along with Coinbase, Crypto.com, and DBS Vickers, the brokerage operated by Singapore's largest bank, DBS, are among those awarded licences.
Singapore's welcoming approach has helped the financial hub attract digital asset services-related businesses from China, India and elsewhere in recent years, making it a major hub in Asia.
However, there have also been some cases of cryptocurrency repercussions in the city-state. Singapore-based Cryptocurrency hedge fund Three Arrows Capital began winding down in June after failing to meet commitments worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The hedge fund was hit by the crash of the Luna and TerraUSD cryptocurrencies in May. Both pieces were developed by Terraform Labs, which is incorporated in Singapore. Terraform Lab founder Do Kwon is currently wanted by South Korean police.
However, the head of MAS has tried to distance Singapore from these companies, saying in July that companies like Three Arrows and Terraform Labs were "Singapore-based companies" that "don't have much to do" with the city's cryptocurrency. -condition. systems
Singapore plans to introduce new regulations that will make it more difficult for retail investors to trade cryptocurrencies.
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