Monetary Authority of Singapore Grants Two Licenses to Offer Digital Payment Token Services


Singapore has granted licenses to DBS Vickers, the brokerage arm of DBS Bank Ltd., and the Australian crypto exchange Independent Reserve to offer digital payment token services.

Both the firms were granted an “in principle” approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) under the country’s Payment Services Act in the past two months. On Friday, both the firms announced in separate statements that they had received the license from the MAS.

The license will enable DBS Vickers to directly support companies and asset managers to trade digital payment tokens through DDEx. The Singapore Exchange has a 10% stake in DDEx.

The approval “coupled with recent enhancements to DDEx such as round-the-clock operations since August, could add to DDEx’s volumes in the coming months and accelerate growth momentum for DBS’ digital asset ecosystem,” said DBS’s head of capital markets Eng-Kwok Seat Moey, who also chairs the exchange and also reported of “robust demand” from clients.

DBS’ digital exchange DDEx, launched in December for qualified individual and institutional investors, expects to double its number of participants to 1,000 and grow its base by 20%-30% annually for the next three years. It offers exchange services between USD, HKD, and yen and Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and XRP.

Independent Reserve meanwhile is an Australia-based exchange launched in 2013, which set up its first overseas operations in Singapore in 2019 to provide digital asset exchange and over-the-counter (OTC) trading services. It provides USD, Singapore dollar, Australian dollar, and New Zealand dollar fiat-to-crypto trading pairs.

Raks Sondhi, the managing director of Independent Reserve Singapore, said his Singapore customer base had surged 500% since August this year.

MAS has received a total of 170 license applications from digital payment token service providers, including Coinbase and Kraken. While 30 applications were withdrawn, two have been rejected.

Last month, MAS ordered Binance to stop providing its services to Singapore residents, and earlier this week, the exchange banned its Singapore users from buying and trading cryptos. Users can still trade on its local platform, Binance.sg – which is allowed to operate under an exemption as its license application is being reviewed by MAS.

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