Updated 15 Jul, 2021

Crypto Groups Flock to Singapore Seeking Warmer Regulations

Key Takeaways:

  • Singapore has turned into a hotspot for crypto companies
  • Crypto executives seek a safe haven amid a broad regulatory clampdown

The Biggest Players in Crypto Favor Singapore

Crypto-related companies and groups around the world are moving to Singapore seeking a crypto-friendly climate. Indeed, large digital asset exchanges are looking for a safe-haven to maintain and expand their presence in the fast-growing cryptocurrency market.

Prompted by regulatory crackdowns by certain governments, crypto exchanges such as Binance and Gemini have already taken steps to secure themselves a spot in the Asian financial hub. Singapore recently became a crypto hotspot. Companies focused on digital currencies have been attracted to the island nation for its accommodative stance toward cryptocurrencies.

By transferring their crypto businesses to Singapore, executives aim to flee from regulatory pressures in some markets including the US, the UK and China. All three have clamped down on the sector in recent months, causing a major turmoil in the cryptocurrency space.

Over 300 Companies Have Requested Approval to Operate in Singapore

While Singapore is yet to issue licenses that would allow crypto companies to operate, it has already granted exemptions to some big-name companies in the crypto world. Therefore enabling the latter to serve local retail and institutional clients.

Over 300 companies have applied for licenses so far, according to Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Sopnendu Mohanty. Mr. Mohanty, MAS chief fintech officer, spoke to Bloomberg where he said that these companies already operate in the city-state. Meanwhile, they are waiting for their applications to be finalized.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore, however, has yet to approve its first application. Since it introduced the concept in its 2020 Payment Services Act, it has not completed license applications. But crypto players are eager to launch their offices.

Binance, one of the biggest crypto exchanges that transacts billions of dollars per month, has been granted a license exemption. Accordingly, in the past few weeks it has advertised more than 200 jobs located in the city. Gemini, another large exchange founded in the US by the Winklevoss twins, also stepped up its hiring efforts in Singapore as it expects to boast a Singapore-based staff of over 50 people later this year.