The cryptocurrency exchange operator, Coinbase, has received a notable regulatory permit in Singapore. The Monetary Authority of Singapore has granted the company a Major Payment Institution licensing approval in Singapore. This approval follows the initial endorsement received late last year and was officially announced today.
This development occurs amidst Coinbase’s tumultuous interactions with regulators in its home jurisdiction, the United States. In June, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission initiated legal proceedings against the company.
The allegations include operating without authorization as an unregistered broker and exchange, constituting a violation of federal securities laws.
Crypto Licensing in Singapore: Coinbase’s Strategic Outlook and Collaborations
During an interview, Hassan Ahmed, the director of Coinbase Singapore, expressed, “This license symbolizes our unwavering commitment to this market and signifies the culmination of our licensing odyssey.”
Additionally, he emphasized the disparity in experiences between Singapore and the challenges encountered in the U.S. He pointed out that Singapore’s dedication to robust regulatory transparency and clearly outlined industry standards is of significant importance to Coinbase.
This significance becomes even more pronounced as the company carefully considers its global expansion strategy.
Ahmed also emphasized Coinbase’s collaborative efforts with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, providing substantial policy input.
Regarding Singapore’s stance on cryptocurrency, it’s worth noting that this license grants Coinbase’s Singapore entity the opportunity to offer a comprehensive range of Digital Payment Token services. These services will be available to both retail and institutional clients across the entire region.
Simultaneously, this development strengthens the company’s affiliations with local institutions, and Standard Chartered plays a pivotal role as its local banking collaborator. Coinbase has proactively customized its product offerings to align with specific local demands.
This adaptation includes the introduction of user-friendly account funding options, like PayNow and FAST bank transfers, as well as facilitating fee-free acquisition of USDC, a stablecoin.
Cryptocurrency Landscape and Regulatory Trends in Singapore
While Singapore enjoys a reputation as a favorable business hub for cryptocurrency, its approach to the industry has come under scrutiny in the past year. This scrutiny stems from crises linked to various cryptocurrency entities with connections to the country. Prominent instances involve Three Arrows Capital, Vauld, and Hodlnaut.
Notably, Three Arrows co-founder Su Zhu was arrested in Singapore for refusing to cooperate with the hedge fund’s liquidators. Nonetheless, the Monetary Authority of Singapore appears inclined to approve license applications.
Coinbase joins a roster of about a dozen other cryptocurrency operators in the region holding full licenses. Wallet companies Crypto.com and Blockchain.com both obtained MPI licenses during the summer.
Hassan Ahmed shared his perspective, stating, “I believe Singapore has forged ahead of many other cryptocurrency hubs. They’ve observed both commendable and less commendable industry players and are now raising regulatory standards accordingly.