The central bank of Singapore has reportedly granted American crypto trading giant, Coinbase, the approval it needs to start offering its payment services within the city-state.
The in-principal approval, which the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) started granting crypto firms in 2021, would enable institutions and individuals to use digital payment token services. These firms will also be regulated by the bank under its Payment Services Act.
In a statement, Coinbase called it a ‘significant’ milestone and stated that it has been building its presence in the country, having almost 100 employees in the city-state, comprising mainly product engineers.
Hassan Ahmed, Regional Director for Coinbase in Southeast Asia, stated that the firm sees Singapore as a strategic market and the global hub in Web3 innovation.
As of now, Singapore has given 17 in-principal approvals and licenses following an extensive due diligence process which is still underway. For context, around 180 crypto-related firms applied for the license to MAS back in 2020.
Among those who obtained licenses include Singapore’s crypto exchange, Crypto.com, and the brokerage operated by the DBS, DBS Vickers.
Singapore’s approach has helped it attract digital asset services-related organizations in the last few years from India, China, and other countries, establishing itself as the major hub in Asia.
However, it has also witnessed a few fall-out cases.
Earlier in June, the crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital started liquidation after not being able to allocate hundreds of millions of dollars in obligations, due to the collapse of cryptocurrencies TerraUSD and Luna in May.
The two were developed by Singapore-incorporated Terraform Labs, founded by Do Kwon, who currently has an arrest warrant issued by the South Korean police.
However, the central bank’s chief assured that firms like Terraform Labs and Three Arrows were only ‘so-called’ Singapore-based and did not have much to do with Singapore’s crypto regulations.
The city-state also plans to introduce new regulations so crypto trading will be more difficult for retail investors.