Updated 13 Aug, 2021

Singapore Set to Grant First Formal License to a Crypto Company



Key Takeaways:

  • Singapore grants approval to an Australian crypto exchange, allowing it to serve retail and institutions
  • The regulatory consent is the first step toward giving crypto startups a formal license

Singapore to Grant First Crypto License

Singapore is set to grant its first ever regulatory approval to a crypto-focused company. The Australian digital asset exchange Independent Reserve has been given an “in principle” approval to operate from the Asian city-state.

The regulatory body, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, is nearing the final stages of the process that will allow the crypto exchange to offer cryptocurrency services such as buying and selling of different digital assets.

This year, Singapore has quickly become a hot spot for financial companies offering services related to the fast-emerging crypto market. The Australian company is expected to become the first regulated and licensed crypto exchange in Singapore. This move could potentially pave the way for over 170 financial companies that are waiting for the Monetary Authority of Singapore to review and approve their applications.

Among them, about 90 digital asset companies are hoping to get permission to operate as full-fledged regulated companies under the laws of Singapore. Technically, however, these crypto startups, including Binance and a few other major crypto exchanges, have been given an exemption to provide services while they await a formal license.

Singapore Bids to Become a Crypto Startup Hub

The opportunity for crypto-focused startups to open offices in Singapore and serve retail and institutions was introduced in January 2020. The payments law under which companies could operate allowed this, albeit with some restrictions, while they waited for their application to be approved.

Besides Singapore being viewed as a crypto safe haven for its warm regulatory environment, the city-state has been looking to attract financial companies from a wide range of industries.

The reason being that Singapore’s resource-poor economy would benefit by acting as a business hub and it would also improve its standings among competing economies in Asia, including Hong Kong and mainland China.

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