Singapore’s financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has formally approved two companies to offer cryptocurrency services in the country.
On Friday, MAS issued licenses to DBS Bank’s independent Australian cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage division, DBS Vickers (DBSV), which allowed them to offer digital payment token services under the Payment Services Act (PS Act).
According to the Independent Reserve announcement, the company has become the first Australian cryptocurrency exchange available to individual and institutional investors in Singapore. The company was founded in Australia in 2013 and began establishing its first offshore operation in Singapore in late 2019, offering digital real estate exchange and OTC trading services for individuals and businesses.
In a separate statement from DBS Bank, the company indicated that the new license will allow DBSV to directly support asset managers and companies in trading digital payment tokens through DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx). DDEx, launched in December 2020, supports trading in large cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) and is only aimed at institutional investors.
DBSV and the Independent Reserve previously received approvals in principle from MAS to offer services for the digital payment token in early August.
Adrian Přelozny, CEO of the Independent Reserve, said Singapore has the most detailed licensing requirements for any jurisdiction in Asia. He added: “There are real opportunities for Australia to learn from Singapore’s holistic approach to licensing the crypto industry. There are currently no requirements for custodians in Australia to exchange digital assets.”
Ang-Kwok Seat Moei, president of DDEx, noted that the latest regulatory approval marks another major milestone in the company’s ability to offer a range of cryptocurrency-related services, including encryption, listing, trading and custody. He noted that “with regulatory approval from MAS, DBSV is now in a better position to support institutional and corporate investors in leveraging the growing potential of digital assets as an investment grade.”
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The latest regulatory approvals came shortly after Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, suspended several product offerings on its Singapore platform in early September, as MAS warned that the stock exchange may have violated the country’s PS law. Binance has previously referred to the regulator’s investor warning which reflects “unregulated entities which, based on information obtained by MAS, may be misinterpreted as approved or regulated by MAS.”