Singapore finance authority grants licenses to Independent Reserve and DBS

Singapore’s principal financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has officially approved two companies to offer cryptocurrency services in the country.

MAS issued Oct. 1 licenses to Australian crypto exchange Independent Reserve and DBS Bank’s brokerage arm, DBS Vickers (DBSV), allowing them to provide digital payment token services under the Payment Services Act (PS Act).

According to an announcement by Independent Reserve, the firm became the first Australian cryptocurrency exchange available to retail and institutional investors in Singapore. Founded in Australia back in 2013, the company started setting up its first overseas operations in Singapore in late 2019, offering digital asset exchange and over-the-counter trading services to people and institutions.

In a separate announcement by DBS Bank, the firm noted that the new license will enable DBSV to directly support asset managers and companies to trade digital payment tokens through DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx). Launched in December 2020, DDEx supports trading of major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), targeting only institutional investors.

Both DBSV and Independent Reserve previously received MAS’ in-principle approvals to provide digital payment token services in early August.

Independent Reserve CEO Adrian Przelozny claimed that Singapore has the most detailed licensing requirements of any jurisdiction in Asia. “There are real opportunities for Australia to learn from Singapore’s thorough approach to crypto industry licensing. Currently, there are no custodian requirements for digital asset exchanges in Australia,” he added.

DDEx chair Eng-Kwok Seat Moey noted that the latest regulatory approval marks another significant milestone to the company’s ability to provide a number of crypto-related services, including tokenization, listing, trading and custody. “Having received formal regulatory approval from MAS, DBSV is now in a better position to support institutional and corporate investors in tapping into the growing potential of digital assets as an investment class,” she noted.

Related: Binance limits SGD product offerings in Singapore amid regulatory warnings

The latest regulatory approvals come shortly after Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, halted several product offerings on its platform in Singapore in early September as MAS warned that the exchange could have been in breach of the country’s PS Act. Binance previously appeared on the regulator’s investor alert list reflecting “unregulated persons who, based on information received by MAS, may have been wrongly perceived as being licensed or regulated by MAS.”

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