Written by Lei Wee and Elizabeth Howcroft
(Reuters) – The Singapore branch of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase said on Monday it has received a major payment institution (MPI) license from the city-state’s central bank.
The license, granted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), will enable the US’s largest cryptocurrency exchange to offer digital payment token services to individuals and institutions in Singapore.
Coinbase, the world’s largest publicly traded cryptocurrency exchange, received initial approval in October last year.
Singapore has emerged as Asia’s crypto hub in recent years, attracting digital asset companies from countries such as China and India. Coinbase cited survey data showing that 32% of Singaporeans own or have previously owned cryptocurrencies, calling this a “significant market” for the company.
MAS, Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator, said in a statement on its website last month that it only grants licenses to crypto companies if they have strong anti-money laundering measures, and that “the vast majority of applicants It is not authorized.” ”.
MAS announced in August that it plans to introduce rules that will make it more difficult for retail investors to trade cryptocurrencies at a time when they appear to be “unreasonably unaware” of the risks involved. teeth.
(Reporting by Lei Wee in Singapore; Editing by Jamie Freed)