Coinbase and Binance Still Awaiting Operating License from Singapore’s Apex Bank

The Singapore-based outfits of global digital currency exchanges, Coinbase Global Inc and Binance Holding Ltd have been named amongst the 70 companies still awaiting licenses from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The data gleaned from the MAS’s website shows that some of the 70 exchanges or outfits are temporarily operating in the country while awaiting the apex bank’s approval.

Singapore is undoubtedly one of the most crypto-friendly nations in SouthEast Asia, and the country’s stance on financial innovations does not come with compromises in relation to regulatory compliance. As far as the Monetary Authority of Singapore is concerned, crypto-focused platforms are welcome in the country, however, they must be willing to play by the books.

As of last year, the MAS has about 170 applications from firms that wish to trade digital currencies in the nation. Of these numbers, 30 withdrew their applications for various reasons which the MAS did not propound on, two were rejected, and three got approved, indicating 135 had been in the running. For various reasons, the number has now been trimmed down to 70, including Coinbase, Binance, Gemini, Huobi Global, and Upbit amongst the few standing today.

Crowd Not Necessary 

MAS Managing Director, Ravi Menon has maintained the need for the country’s growing financial landscape to maintain the highest standards in relation to regulatory adherence for firms looking into the crypto ecosystem. Based on this, Ravi has maintained the stance that the crowd (massive number of applicants for its license is unnecessary.

“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,” MAS’s Menon said in an interview last month.

Amongst the three outfits that were granted the license to operate a crypto brokerage include DBS Bank’s Digital Exchange. As an established Singapore-based lender, securing the license came off as an easy task for the bank. 

The ongoing crackdown on cryptocurrency exchanges including Binance and Coinbase particularly in major hotspots like China has largely cast doubts on the positive outlook of Asia as a welcoming region for trading platforms. However, a pass from the MAS will reignite the attractiveness of the region and give these exchanges a new lease of life to do business in one of the financial hubs in Asia.