Singapore’s main financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has formally approved two companies that provide cryptocurrency services in the country.
On Friday, MAS issued licenses to the independent Australian cryptocurrency exchange and DBS arm of the broker, DBS Vickers (DBSV), so that they can offer digital payment token services under the Payment Services Act (PS Act).
According to the announcement by Independent Reserve, the company has become the first Australian cryptocurrency exchange available to private and institutional investors in Singapore. The company was established in Australia in 2013 and began opening its first foreign business in Singapore in late 2019, providing digital real estate exchange and OTC trading services to individuals and institutions.
In a separate statement from DBS Bank, the company noted that the new license will allow DBSV to directly support managers and companies in trading digital tokens for payment through the DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx). Launched in December 2020, DDEx supports trading in large cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), aimed only at institutional investors.
Both DBSV and the previously independent reserve received major MAS approvals to offer digital payment token services in early August.
Adrian Přelozny, CEO of Independent Reserve, said Singapore has the most detailed licensing requirements of any jurisdiction in Asia. He added, “Australia has real opportunities to learn from Singapore’s cautious approach to licensing the cryptocurrency industry. There are currently no requirements for custodians in Australia to exchange digital assets.”
DDEx Chairman Eng-Kwok Seat Moei noted that the latest regulatory approval marks another milestone in the company’s ability to offer a range of crypto-related services, including coding, listing, trading and custody. “With formal regulatory approval from MAS, DBSV is now in a better position to support institutional and corporate investors in taking advantage of the growing potential of digital assets as an investment grade,” she said.
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The latest government approval came shortly after Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, suspended several product offerings on its Singapore-based platform in early September, when MAS warned that the exchange could breach the country’s PS law. Binance was previously mentioned in the regulator’s investor warning that reflects “unregulated entities which, based on information obtained by MAS, may erroneously be considered as authorized or regulated by MAS.”