Blockchain.com Scores Singapore License

The conditional approval will allow the exchange to grow its foothold in the region while expanding its institutional base, Blockchain.com said

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key takeaways

  • Singapore is fast becoming a hub for crypto exchanges looking to gain a foothold across Southeast Asia
  • Blockchain.com’s conditional approval is the second of its kind this week following Coinbase on Monday

Crypto exchange Blockchain.com has become the second platform this week to receive approval in-principle for a crypto payments license from Singapore’s central bank.

Blockchain.com said its Major Payment Institution License, allows it to offer Digital Payment Token services under Singapore’s Payment Services Act, would allow it to grow its office in the Southeast Asian economy and expand its institutional base.

The move marks an increasing trend for the city-state to green light exchanges looking to establish a foothold in the region. Blockchain.com became the second crypto exchange this week to get the nod following Coinbase’s approval on Monday.

Singapore’s Monetary Authority (MAS), also its financial regulator, gave its blessing despite increased scrutiny against retail trading of digital assets. 

MAS has signaled its intention to continue working with businesses and larger industry players, while remaining wary of risks to retail investors.

The regulator is particularly interested in gauging whether or not DeFi can be used to improve wholesale borrowing and lending processes via public blockchains, including Ethereum. The hope is to retain and attract industry talent as well as budding blockchain and crypto businesses.

Blockchain.com said it would use its license to continue servicing institutional and high-net-worth investors, as well as project teams and operators in the crypto ecosystem.

Conditional approval under the PSA allows the exchange to offer larger clients its services and products, including its institutional custody services.

In January 2020, the PSA ratcheted regulatory requirements for payment services operating in the city-state, including electronic payments and crypto-related exchange services.

As part of a list of 54 other entities granted exemption from licensure, Blockchain.com had been allowed to operate as a Digital Payment Token service provider prior to its approval.

While 160 entities are currently awaiting approval as Digital Payment Tokens under the PSA, a further 100 have been denied. Just seven entities have received a digital payment token license from MAS.


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