Singapore Soon To License Crypto Payments

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As the crypto-curious city-state benefits from the flight from China, Singapore has taken the first step towards formalising crypto exchanges.

With over a hundred applications on the MAS’s docket, Australian crypto exchange Independent Reserve is the first to gain the formal go-ahead.

FT: Singapore has experienced a rush of interest from the crypto business, since many are afraid of setting up shop in Hong Kong due to China’s crypto crackdown.


Sumit Agarwal Chief of Monetary authority of Singapore
H.E. Ravi Menon Governor Monetary Authority Of Singapore

A number of digital payment service companies have been told by Singapore’s Monetary Authority (MAS) that they will be licenced to operate there.

Observers say the move, which comes after a crypto exchange was granted a licence, cements Singapore’s position as Asia’s crypto capital.

After Independent Reserve stated this week that it had gained “in-principle approval” from Singapore’s monetary regulator, it is now in the process of applying for a licence to provide licenced digital payment token services.

A statement from the trading platform said that it’s been approved as one of the first virtual asset service providers in the city.

Experts in the crypto space have welcomed the latest MAS statement, according to the Hong Kong-based daily. This is a “momentous” and “timely” step, according to Singapore-based lawyer Grace Chong of Simmons & Simmons.

MAS Move Intended To Draw Crypto Companies To Asia’s Crypto Hub

The change, according to Sumit Agarwal, a finance and economics professor at the National University of Singapore, represents “slow and steady” progress in recognising the importance of bitcoin in the new financial landscape.

Hong Kong, a competing Asian financial centre, has been viewed as losing appeal because of China’s extensive national security regulations, increasing Singapore’s attraction as a commercial hub.

A new front in the rivalry between rival cities has been opened up by the digital asset industry.

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