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Luno Makes Triumphant Return to Singapore as Lenders Warm Up to Bitcoin

2 mins
2 November 2019, 14:20 GMT+0000
Updated by Max Moeller
2 November 2019, 14:20 GMT+0000
The popular Luno cryptocurrency exchange is set to re-open its services in Singapore after months of ceased operations in the country.
The service is set to open its deposit services in Singapore dollars within a month after two banks opened accounts on its platform, effectively ending an exile that lasted about two years. Sherry Goh and Vijay Ayyar, Luno’s bigshots in Singapore and Asia respectively, confirmed the re-entry into the Singaporean space, adding that the corporate accounts opened by the banks will allow the London-based company to pay its workers and hold investors’ deposits once more. However, access is still restricted, as Luno is still unable to hold money from other investors. Luno, which was initially founded in Singapore as BitX in 2013, was forced out of the country in 2017 after it, as well as other exchanges, were caught in a squabble with the country’s banking institutions over suspected criminal activities and potential illicit income flows. Its bank accounts in the country were shut down, and facing no other choice, it moved to London. After getting accepted into the regulatory sandbox of the UK Financial Conduct Authority in 2016, it began expanding its presence across Europe and Africa. Luno

Singapore Easing Tax Requirements for Crypto

As for Singapore, the country has been warming up to crypto. A few months back, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), the country’s tax authority, was reported to be considering removing value-added tax for trade ‘digital payment tokens.’ While the plan is still being discussed, the proposal does mention that the tax exemption will apply to digital payment tokens such as Bitcoin Ether, Monero, and Litecoin. The IRAS also reportedly claimed that it was working towards removing the Gods and Services Tax (GST) on crypto assets as well, although it added that stablecoins would still be covered under the tax code. Singapore Cryptocurrency

Crypto-Bank Operating Permits

Just yesterday, Sygnium, a crypto bank based out of Switzerland, announced that it had gotten a capital markets services (CMS) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). With the permit, Sygnium, which first gained its banking license in the country in August, can now offer its first product in the country’s market. Stefan Mueller, Sygnum’s Head of Asset Management, said,
“The CMS license is an important milestone to establishing our asset management arm, leveraging the vibrant financial environment in Singapore. This is complementary to our banking services in Switzerland and will also benefit our Swiss institutional and private qualified investor clients.”

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