Coinbase expands regulatory moat with Singapore license

Coinbase said it views Singapore as a crucial market for growth of the crypto and Web3 economy


Changi Jewel Singapore | KiranPix / Shutterstock, modified by Blockworks


Coinbase has obtained a full license in Singapore, allowing the crypto exchange to broaden its offerings to both individual users and institutional clients in the city-state.

The company scored its Major Payment Institution (MPI) license about a year after Singapore’s central bank granted preliminary approval.

On Sunday, the company highlighted the importance of Singapore within the crypto industry, pointing out that 25% of local residents surveyed view cryptocurrency as the future of finance, and 32% have owned or currently own crypto assets.

“From our initial involvement in the Lion City, we’ve identified Singapore as a vital market for Coinbase,” the exchange said in a statement.

“The nation’s progressive economic strategies and approach to regulation sync well with our global mission and objectives,” it added.

Obtaining a license for a cryptocurrency company in Singapore is a challenging process

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), responsible for regulating crypto business licenses, only grants approval to applicants who have strong anti-money laundering measures in place, according to its director of corporate communications, Dawn Chew.

After implementing initiatives to reduce the risks posed by crypto to customers, Singapore will establish one of the strictest regulatory regimes in the world governing retail access to cryptocurrencies, Chew has said.

A limited group of companies, such as, Circle Internet Singapore,, and Revolut, have so far managed to secure an MPI license for digital payment token services.

Just about a week ago, Coinbase obtained registration in Spain, granting it the ability to function as a crypto exchange and wallet service provider within the country. 

Coinbase also recently extended access to its perpetual futures service to non-US retail users due to significant institutional trading volume exceeding $5.5 billion in the second quarter.

As Coinbase continues its global expansion efforts, it is actively pushing for crypto-related legislation within the US. 

In September, the exchange launched a campaign urging crypto users to reach out to their Congressional representatives and request the enactment of well-defined legislation in this field.

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