Thursday, November 24 2022

Singapore continues to issue approvals to more cryptocurrency firms to provide digital asset services in the city-state, even though it maintains a strict licensing regime.

Cryptocurrency wallet provider Blockchain.com was the latest company to get the green light from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, according to a statement on Wednesday. The Major Approval allows the company to conduct a range of virtual asset activities under the Major Payment Institution (MPI) license.

Along with this approval, Blockchain.com will continue to grow its Singapore office and expand its list of institutional clients, it says.

The news comes just a day after Nasdaq-listed crypto exchange operator Coinbase received the same license from Singapore regulators to operate fully regulated cryptocurrency services in the country. The UK-based company is following in the footsteps of other crypto firms that have recently gained clearance, including Crypto.com, digital asset broker Genesis and blockchain technology provider Sparrow.

Singapore’s regulatory regime for exchanges requires them to provide adequate consumer protections and comply with anti-money laundering measures.

Blockchain.com’s approval brings the number of crypto firms that have received the regulatory green light to 18, a fraction of nearly 180 applicants. The city-state’s de facto central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has been cautious about cryptocurrencies as it seeks to tackle money laundering and cybercrime .

Singapore regulators have said they may implement consumer protections for crypto investors, which could include suitability tests, restrictions on leveraged trading and credit facilities. They also repeatedly warned retail investors against putting their money in the market.

“Blockchain.com commends the Monetary Authority of Singapore for its transparent regulatory process that prioritizes oversight of the crypto industry while allowing innovation to thrive,” Blockchain CEO and Co-Founder said. com, Peter Smith.

Earlier this year, Blockchain.com revealed that it had been exposed to Three Arrows Capital (3AC) after the recently bankrupt hedge fund failed to respond to a margin call. It also follows the company’s announcement asking investment bankers about going public as early as this year.

The company hasn’t made a final decision, however, and its initial public offering (IPO) plans could change, and the public debut could also slip to next year.

Blockchain.com, led by CEO and co-founder Peter Smith, is said to have registered 73 million crypto wallets and over 31 million verified users in over 200 countries. It also claims a 28% market share of all bitcoin transactions.

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