United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is expanding operations in Singapore after securing major regulatory approval from the country’s central bank.
Coinbase has obtained a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the firm announced on Oct. 1. The new license — coming one year after Coinbase’s initial in-principle approval in Singapore — enables the company to expand its digital payment token services to individuals and institutions in the country.
According to MAS, MPI-licensed firms are authorized to conduct payment services without being subjected to transaction limits of 3 million Singapore dollars ($2.2 million) for any payment service. The approved companies are also free from the 6 million SG$ ($4.4 million) limit of monthly transactions for two or more payment services other than e-money account issuance and money-changing services.
The newly acquired license is “not only a validation of Coinbase’s operations” but also represents a responsibility to the growing crypto and Web3 community in Singapore, the firm said in the announcement.
Coinbase has been actively developing products and services designed specifically for Singapore, launching PayNow and FAST bank transfers in March 2023. Coinbase has also integrated Singapore’s digital identity service, SingPass, to simplify onboarding. Additionally, Coinbase has been collaborating with major local blockchain firms, including Nansen.ai, Blockdaemon and Infura, to expand its products like Base blockchain and wallet-as-a-service.
“From our initial involvement in the Lion City, we’ve identified Singapore as a vital market for Coinbase,” the exchange noted, stressing that more than 30% of Singaporeans were found to be current or past owners of crypto in its recent survey. The announcement added:
“Singapore has naturally become a significant location for this industry. Moreover, Singapore is home to over 700 Web3 companies, making it a pivotal market for the growth of the crypto and Web3 economy.”
Coinbase did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.
As previously reported, major global cryptocurrency firms have been increasingly securing Singapore’s MPI license recently. Crypto data and wallet provider Blockchain.com became the 12th firm to receive the license in August 2023. The USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin issuer Circle received the MPI license in June 2023, following crypto exchange Crypto.com.
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