Singapore grants initial license approval to South Korean exchange Upbit

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has granted in-principal approval for a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license to Upbit Singapore, the local entity of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume. This approval allows Upbit Singapore to continue providing digital payment token services to institutional investors while waiting for its full license.

Upbit Singapore was founded in 2018, and its founder and CEO Alex Kim considers this recent approval to be a significant milestone in deepening the exchange’s local presence. The firm’s compliance chief, Azman Hamid, expressed their commitment to expanding their businesses in Singapore and contributing to establishing the country as a leading hub for the next generation of financial businesses.

If fully approved, Upbit Singapore would become one of 15 cryptocurrency firms with full MPI digital payment token service licenses from MAS. In October alone, MAS approved licenses for the Singaporean entities of Coinbase, Ripple, and Sygnum Bank, bringing the number of licensed digital payment token service firms to 15.

On October 2, Coinbase received full approval for its MPI license, while GSR, a crypto trading firm, received in-principal approval for its MPI on the same day. The day after, Swiss crypto bank subsidiary Sygnum Singapore obtained its full MPI license. Ripple also received its full MPI license on October 4.

The approval from MAS reflects a growing acceptance and recognition of the cryptocurrency industry in Singapore. Regulatory approval and licensing provide greater confidence and security for institutional investors who wish to participate in the thriving digital asset market. This supports the country’s goal of becoming a global leader in financial innovation.

Singapore has been actively fostering its crypto ecosystem and regulatory framework to attract cryptocurrency businesses. With its robust infrastructure, strong financial regulatory framework, and commitment to innovation, Singapore has been successful in positioning itself as an attractive destination for cryptocurrency exchanges and other crypto-related services.

By granting licenses to reputable cryptocurrency firms like Upbit Singapore, MAS is promoting the growth of a vibrant and regulated digital asset ecosystem in Singapore. The presence of these established players in the country will further strengthen its reputation as a safe and reliable hub for cryptocurrency activities.

In conclusion, Upbit Singapore’s in-principal approval for the MPI license from MAS is a strategic milestone for the exchange. It allows them to continue offering digital payment token services to institutional investors while awaiting their full license. This approval contributes to Singapore’s goal of becoming a leading hub for the next generation of financial businesses and further establishes the country as a global leader in financial innovation.

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