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Coinbase Obtains Major Payment Licence from the Central Bank of Singapore

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Coinbase has secured a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, aiding its global expansion.
  • The license will enable Coinbase to extend Digital Payment Token services to individuals and institutions in Singapore.
  • Despite securing licenses in key countries like Spain, Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands, Coinbase faces regulatory challenges in the US.
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America’s leading crypto exchange, Coinbase, has announced that it has received a payments license from the central bank of Singapore. The move is the latest in ongoing efforts by US crypto firms to expand overseas amid harsh regulatory scrutiny on home soil. 

On October 1, Coinbase announced that it had obtained a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). 

Coinbase Pushes Into Singapore 

The firm noted that the move “amplifies our commitment to the Singapore market.” It will enable Coinbase to expand our provision of Digital Payment Token services to both individuals and institutions in Singapore.

Moreover, the firm emphasized the “importance of clear regulation, innovation, and trust from our users,” in its international expansion drive. 

Singapore is home to over 700 web3 companies, it noted. This makes it a pivotal market for the growth of the crypto and web3 economy.

Tech and Web3 Companies in Singapore. Source: NodeFlair
Tech and Web3 Companies in Singapore. Source: NodeFlair

“From our initial involvement in the Lion City, we’ve identified Singapore as a vital market for Coinbase. The nation’s progressive economic strategies and approach to regulation sync well with our global mission and objectives.”

Coinbase has tailored products and services for Singapore, like PayNow/FAST transfers, SingPass onboarding, and no-fee USDC purchases.

Beyond products, the firm is also committed to growing Singapore’s crypto ecosystem through hiring, investments, partnerships, community events, and university workshops.

The firm mentioned key local partners such as Nansen, Blockdaemon, and Infura, adding there were more collaborations in the pipeline. 

Coinbase has prioritized getting licenses from regulators in key countries as part of international growth amid increasing hostility at home. Over the last year, it has achieved virtual asset registrations in Spain, Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

Uncle Sam’s War on Crypto

The Security and Exchange Commission sued Coinbase in early June. The regulator accused the firm of operating as an unregistered securities broker since 2019.

In August, the firm asked a federal judge to toss the case on the grounds that it doesn’t offer securities or ‘investment contracts.’ 

Stablecoin issuer Circle has also set up shop in Singapore. In June, the firm received its own Major Payment Institution license from the MAS. 

However, Singapore’s recently elected president, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, is known for his critical stance on digital assets. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether the Asian island nation will remain as crypto-friendly as it is today.

Top crypto platforms in the US | March 2024



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Martin Young
Martin Young is a seasoned cryptocurrency journalist and editor with over 7 years of experience covering the latest news and trends in the digital asset space. He is passionate about making complex blockchain, fintech, and macroeconomics concepts understandable for mainstream audiences.   Martin has been featured in top finance, technology, and crypto publications including BeInCrypto, CoinTelegraph, NewsBTC, FX Empire, and Asia Times. His articles provide an in-depth analysis of...