Ripple can now offer payments services in Singapore

Ripple hopes provisional regulatory approval in Singapore will help inspire more local usage of its payments network

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Jievani/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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Ripple Labs has received in-principle central bank approval in Singapore to begin offering crypto products and services under a regulated banner throughout the city-state.

The licensure for its local subsidiary, Ripple Markets APAC, would allow it to scale client’s use of its crypto-enabled On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) service, the San Francisco firm said in a statement.

Ripple Labs’ provisional license allows it to start offering payments services such as account issuance, cross-border money transfer services and digital payment token services while it undergoes further regulatory checks.

ODL, which runs on the Ripple distributed ledger, aims to boost efficiency of international transfers by using XRP as an intermediary asset. Company materials suggest it operates across some 40 payments markets, including France, Sweden and Africa.

Ripple Labs reported selling $2.9 billion XRP last quarter to customers for use on its payments network. It spent $2.6 billion buying the token on secondary markets over that time.

The firm, as of the end of March, had sold $14 billion XRP directly to ODL customers since it was sued by the SEC in Dec. 2020. The case is still ongoing.

Ripple Labs acquired $11 billion XRP from secondary markets across the same period. XRP is the sixth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap behind USDC and binance coin (BNB).

While Singapore has a reputation for a tough stance on crypto, CEO Brad Garlinghouse said Singapore was a strategic choice based on clearer operating guidelines for budding digital asset firms.

“MAS continues to be a global leader in establishing clear rules of the road to recognise the innovation and real-world utility of digital assets, and its benefits to the global financial system,” he said.

London-headquartered crypto exchange Blockchain.com scored its own provisional MAS license last October. Singapore’s own Crypto.com received its full license earlier this month, about one year after it received provisional approval.

Expansion and licensure abroad from US-based crypto companies have been considered responses to a toxic regulatory climate at home. 

Coinbase recently flagged intent to explore opportunities in the European market, while heavy crypto backer a16z earlier this month said that it’s soon opening a UK office — its first international output.


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