The license granted by the The Monetary Authority of Singapore empowers Coinbase’s Singapore office to offer a wider range of Digital Payment Token services to both retail and institutional customers in the region, while also strengthening its ties with local institutions.
“This license enshrines our commitment to the market and marks the end of our licensing journey,” said Hassan Ahmed, the country director of Coinbase Singapore, in an interview.
“Our experience in Singapore in some ways contrasts what’s going on in the U.S. By providing this level of regulatory clarity and by providing clear rules that the industry has to play by, that’s really important for us as we’re thinking about our international strategy.”
Coinbase said it has tailored its products and services to meet the needs of local customers in Singapore. This includes support for simple account funding options like PayNow and FAST bank transfers, as well as fee-free purchases of USDC stablecoin.
Till date, Singapore has proven to be a major crypto hub in the world, and it continues to support innovative crypto companies. Coinbase is the latest of the crypto companies that have found a haven in Singapore.
Other companies like Crypto.com have established a big presence in the region and are bringing lots of innovation to the crypto industry there. Though the country had issues with the crypto industry in years past, all of that is in the past now.
“I think Singapore’s a few laps ahead of some of these other crypto hubs,” said Ahmed. “They’ve seen both good actors and bad actors go through and now they’re uplifting those regulations.”
Coinbase has embarked on an expansion project known as “Go Broad, Go Deep”, aimed at scaling its business globally. In line with this, the company has been seeking regulatory licenses in many countries and regions, particularly as the U.S. regulatory climate keeps getting hostile.
Singapore’s MPI license is the latest in the series of licenses that Coinbase has obtained. Just last month, it secured the Anti Money Laundering registration with the Bank of Spain, both as a crypto exchange and a custodial wallet provider.
The exchange also secured a license to offer perpetual derivatives trading to retail customers from the Bermuda Monetary Agency (BMA). The license permits Coinbase to offer perpetual derivatives trading to retail users outside the U.S. where it has its headquarters, same as the initial license by BMA to offer perpetual derivatives trading to institutional clients.
Going forward, the company plans to continue applying for and acquiring licenses to help fastrack its global growth and bring some much needed growth to compensate for the stunted growth in the U.S.
Coinbase’s Legal Struggles
Coinbase has been in a legal tussle with regulator the SEC in the U.S. The agency dragged the exchange to court in June on allegations of securities laws violations. This has led to many controversies, including the Coinbase filing a case against the SEC and demanding for clear crypto regulations.
The fight against the SEC seems to be gaining traction, as congressmen continue to take sides with the company and the industry against the SEC’s enforcement approach to crypto regulation.