Coinbase crypto exchange obtains payment license in Singapore

In a significant development, Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges based in the United States, has successfully expanded its operations in Singapore. This expansion comes after the company secured a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on October 1. This notable achievement, following Coinbase’s initial in-principle approval in Singapore a year ago, allows the firm to extend its digital payment token services to both individuals and institutions in the country.

Under this new license, Coinbase gains the authority to conduct payment services without the restrictions of the 3 million Singapore dollars ($2.2 million) transaction limit typically imposed on payment services. Furthermore, the company is exempt from the 6 million SG$ ($4.4 million) monthly transaction limit applicable to firms offering two or more payment services, excluding e-money account issuance and money-changing services, as stated by MAS.

This latest milestone is not merely a validation of Coinbase’s operational prowess; it also signifies a profound responsibility towards Singapore’s burgeoning crypto and Web3 community, according to the company’s official statement.

Coinbase has been proactively tailoring its products and services for the Singaporean market. In March 2023, the exchange introduced convenient features such as PayNow and FAST bank transfers. Moreover, the integration of Singapore’s digital identity service, SingPass, has streamlined the onboarding process for users. Additionally, Coinbase has fostered collaborations with key local blockchain entities including Nansen.ai, Blockdaemon, and Infura. These partnerships have facilitated the expansion of products like Base blockchain and wallet-as-a-service.

Recognizing Singapore’s pivotal role in the cryptocurrency landscape, Coinbase emphasized the nation’s significance as a vital market. A recent survey conducted by the exchange revealed that over 30% of Singaporeans have either current or past holdings in cryptocurrencies. Coinbase underscored Singapore’s importance, stating, “Singapore has naturally become a significant location for this industry. Moreover, Singapore is home to over 700 Web3 companies, making it a pivotal market for the growth of the crypto and Web3 economy.”

It’s worth noting that Coinbase’s achievement aligns with a broader trend in Singapore, where several major global cryptocurrency firms have recently secured the MPI license. Blockchain.com, a prominent crypto data and wallet provider, became the 12th company to receive this license in August 2023. Prior to that, in June 2023, the issuer of the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin, Circle, and crypto exchange Crypto.com had also obtained the MPI license, marking their commitment to the vibrant Singaporean market.

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