Singapore has always been a crypto friendly state, and is considered a haven by most crypto enthusiasts. However, no crypto exchange has been able to legally set up shop within the country until recently. In view of this, Singapore assented to one out of the numerous applications for official operating licenses presented before it by over 170 crypto platforms.
Australian-based crypto exchange, Independence Reserve becomes the first beneficiary of an in-principle license by Singaporean authorities. The approval confers on the exchange the license to operate within the Asian state as a fully registered virtual asset service provider (VASP). According to a letter from the Singapore’s Monetary Authority (MAS), the exchange’s operations henceforth are legal, as long as they comply with regulations.
Singapore’s PSA to Regulate Operating Licenses of Platforms
Independence Reserve’s license came under the provisions of the Payments Services Act (PSA), a law which became operable in January 2020. The Act provides and outlines existing regulations to guide operations of platforms seeking to extend their crypto-based services to the Singaporean market.
However, pending the assent of their applications, other crypto platforms have been given a go-ahead to continue their operations as long as it is within the exceptions provided by the Act. As such, Independence Reserve is the only exchange with a regulatory license. Market observers have stated the first in-principle assent will set the pace for other assent within the country.
Independence Reserve to Serve DPT Services
Following the licensing, Independence Reserve now has the opportunity to provide Digital Payment Token ((DPT) Services to its users in Singapore. Moreover, other regulations impose an obligation on cryptocurrency platforms to put in place consumer-friendly measures while abiding by AML guidelines, including the popular ‘Travel Rule’ of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The ‘Travel Rule’ requires crypto platforms to collate the details of every transaction made by consumers. Ultimately, this is directed at addressing money laundering.
As regards being the first crypto exchange to benefit from an assent, Independence Reserve’s CEO, Adrian Przelozny declared that the MAS licensing would pave the way for the firm to partake and cement its status as a crypto exchange while also opening the pathway for Singapore to position itself as a hub as for crypto innovations.
Singapore has become a hotspot for both crypto investors and platforms considering that there are taxes on cryptocurrencies. Besides, political uncertainty in Hong Kong has contributed to Singapore’s reputation among the crypto community. Meanwhile, Jihan Wu, former co-founder of Bitmain and current CEO of Matrixport declared while speaking on crypto regulations, that Singapore is a choice location for emerging technologies in the crypto space.
Crypto platforms like Binance and Winklevoss-owned Gemini are reportedly among the 170 crypto platforms waiting to get their applications approved by Singaporean authorities. However, it is unlikely that all the crypto platforms will get their applications approved as Singapore may not be able to accommodate the numerous operations of these platforms. Singapore has been making moves for a cross-border CBDC.