Binance and Coinbase Apply for a License in Singapore, Total Applicants Halved from Last Year


Both Binance and Coinbase’s Singapore units are among 70 applicants for a license to provide cryptocurrency services in the country.

According to the central bank Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) website, the number of firms operating with an exemption while their application is processed has now declined from 170 that last year applied for a permit.

Previous MAS data showed that 30 firms among the 170 applicants dropped out from the process, but it didn’t provide any reason for the same. While three of them got approved, two were rejected, which meant 135 had been in the running.

“We don’t need 160 of them to set up shop here. Half of them can do so, but with very high standards. That, I think, is a better outcome,” said MAS head Ravi Menon in an interview last month.

Earlier this week, Singapore’s financial regulator also warned of potential risks of investing in crypto for retail investors due to “sharp speculative swings,” which can result in “significant losses.”

While speaking at the Singapore Fintech Festival, Menon also said that the central bank “frowns” on crypto as an investment asset for retail investors because their prices are “not anchored on any economic fundamentals.”

Meanwhile, as per the data published on Thursday by Southeast Asia’s largest lender DBS Group Holdings Ltd, local business volume is picking up.

DBS Digital Exchange, the bank’s platform for trading digital assets, started round-the-clock operations in August. In these two months since, the bank recorded trading volumes that surpassed that of the first eight months by 40%. As of last month, it had S$600 million of digital assets held under custody, it said.

DBS’s brokerage unit, along with Singapore-based FOMO Pay and Australian firm Independent Reserve are the only three recipients of MAS licenses so far.

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