Crypto giant Coinbase obtains license in Singapore

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SINGAPORE, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the United States, said it had received approval from Singapore’s central bank to offer payment services in the city-state.

The in-principle approval, which the central bank began granting crypto firms last year, means individuals and institutions can use digital payment token services and businesses are regulated by the central bank in under its Payment Services Act.

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 state, with product engineers making up the largest. part of hiring.

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“We view Singapore as a strategic market and global hub for Web3 innovation,” said Hassan Ahmed, Coinbase Regional Director for Southeast Asia.

About 180 crypto companies applied for a crypto payment license with the Monetary Authority of Singapore in 2020 under a new regime. Singapore issued 17 approvals and licenses in principle after an elaborate due diligence process which is still ongoing.

Besides Coinbase, Crypto.com and DBS Vickers – the brokerage firm run by Singapore’s largest bank DBS (DBSM.SI) – are among those that have received licenses.

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 numerous instances of crypto fallout in the city-state. Singapore-based crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital began liquidation in June after it was unable to meet hundreds of millions of dollars in obligations.

The hedge fund had been hit by the collapse of cryptocurrencies Luna and TerraUSD in May. Both coins were developed by Terraform Labs, which was incorporated in Singapore. Terraform Lab founder Do Kwon is currently wanted by South Korean police.

The MAS chief has sought to steer Singapore away from these companies, however, and said in July that companies like Three Arrows and Terraform Labs were “so-called Singapore-based” companies that had “little to do” with crypto from the city, state. regulations.

Singapore plans to roll out new regulations that will make it more difficult for retail investors to trade in cryptocurrencies.

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Reporting by Xinghui Kok; Editing by Anshuman Daga and Ed Osmond

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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