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Coinbase Receives Full Regulatory Approval in Singapore

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In a significant development, Coinbase, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange operator, has been awarded a crucial regulatory license in Singapore. The Monetary Authority of Singapore officially granted the company a Major Payment Institution license, following last year’s provisional approval. This noteworthy development emerges amidst an ongoing regulatory dispute between Coinbase and U.S. regulators, particularly the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which filed a lawsuit against the company in June, alleging violations of federal securities laws by operating as an unregistered broker and exchange.


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Singapore’s Position on Cryptocurrency
The license granted sets the stage for Coinbase’s Singapore entity to expand its range of digital payment token services, catering to both retail and institutional clients within the region. This move further solidifies its partnerships with local institutions, with Standard Chartered serving as its local banking partner.

According to the company, it has customized its product offerings to align with local preferences, introducing straightforward account funding alternatives such as PayNow and FAST bank transfers. Additionally, the company has made fee-free purchases of USDC, the stablecoin, available to users.

Singapore, renowned as a thriving business hub, is generally perceived as having a favorable attitude toward the cryptocurrency industry. Nevertheless, recent challenges have put the region’s crypto stance to the test, as several crypto-related entities with Singapore connections, including Three Arrows Capital, Vauld, and Hodlnaut, encountered crises over the past year. Notably, Three Arrows co-founder Su Zhu faced apprehension in Singapore last week due to his refusal to cooperate with the failed hedge fund’s liquidators.

Despite these challenges, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) continues to exhibit a willingness to approve license applications. Coinbase now joins the ranks of approximately a dozen other fully licensed crypto operators in the region. During the summer, wallet companies and also secured Major Payment Institution (MPI) licenses.

Ahmed expressed, “I believe Singapore has a lead over some other cryptocurrency hubs. They have witnessed both reputable and unscrupulous actors navigate the regulatory landscape, and now they are elevating these regulations.”

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