Editing by Nathaniel Cajuday
US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and its Singapore-based arm have recently received from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) an “in-principle approval” to provide crypto services in the country.
MAS’ in-principle approval allows individuals and institutions to use digital payment token services and the firms are regulated by the central bank under its Payment Services Act.
In a statement, Coinbase called the approval a “significant milestone” as it has been building up its presence in Singapore and currently has nearly 100 employees in the city-state.
CEO of Coinbase Singapore Hassan Ahmed noted that Singapore is a key institutional market for the exchange in Asia because of the continuous interest and exposure to crypto.
“We see Singapore as a strategic market and a global hub for Web3 innovation,” Ahmed stated.
Moreover, under a prior exemption granted by MAS, Coinbase was already providing services including its institutional platform, but Ahmed stated it would look to partner with local platforms and expand its fiat capabilities with its new approval to provide Digital Payment Token services.
Accordingly, the exchange disclosed that it has undertaken ongoing work with local Web3 community groups such as the Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Start-ups Singapore (ACCESS) and the Singapore Fintech Association (SFA).
“We collaborate with industry associations to promote dialogue with policymakers, and ensure balanced regulations, and a pragmatic approach to the regulatory framework for digital assets… On the employment side, crypto as an industry is exciting but often confusing, so we are working with career exploration non-profits like advisory.sg to provide guidance to their members,” he explained.
Under the new regime, there are about 180 crypto companies that applied for a crypto payments license to the Monetary Authority of Singapore in 2020.
Being Coinbase’s regional director for Southeast Asia, Ahmed also shared the exchange’s plans to offer services throughout Southeast Asia.
“We see Southeast Asia as a crypto-forward region with a lot of demand for holding and using crypto in markets such as the Philippines and Indonesia, as well as a hotbed of innovation for trends like Web3 gaming such as Vietnam,” he added.
Last June, however, Coinbase had layoffs that were extended to its Southeast Asia operations. In preparation for crypto winter, the company laid off hundreds to more than a thousand employees. (Read more: Coinbase Layoffs Extends to Southeast Asia Operations)
This article is published on BitPinas: Coinbase Secures Singapore Crypto License
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