According to a LinkedIn job posting from last week, it seems like crypto exchange giant Gemini is looking for a new Singapore office lead. According to two insiders with firsthand knowledge, the hunt comes after former APAC chief Jeremy Ng left the company in recent weeks.
Ng had been with the exchange for a little over two years, and he was appointed to manage the Singapore operations only five months ago. The exchange was pursuing an expansion across Asia at that time along with increasing institutional demand.
Those ambitions appear to have run into regulatory roadblocks: Gemini and another 70 businesses are still waiting for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to approve its digital payment token license.
According to the most recent LinkedIn post, “competence in dealing with regulators across jurisdictions” is a significant component of the job.
In January 2020, Singapore passed the Payment Services Act, allowing crypto companies, including exchanges, to be regulated and operate in the city-state. Binance and Coinbase are still waiting for the operating license from Apex Bank.
However, only four licenses have been awarded so far, and the number of companies whose applications have been denied or withdrawn has risen to 100.
A Gemini spokesman declined to comment on the staff change but stated that the company’s commitment to Asia has not changed. It recently announced its partnership with a major bank in Colombia to allow bank users to trade crypto.
Gemini also plans to expand its staff
Since July, the exchange’s Singapore branch has grown moderately; at the time, Gemini reported it had 30 employees. According to a new LinkedIn post, the APAC leader will be in charge of up to 40 people in Singapore.
Crypto exchanges such as Huobi and Binance appear to have been solidifying their ambitions for the city-state in recent weeks, aided in part by the regulator. Although foreign companies are not permitted to provide services to Singaporeans, some exchanges explore local exceptions.
Binance has chosen to shut down both its international and domestic operations. In early September, the MAS issued a warning to Binance.com, prompting the world’s largest exchange to limit its offerings for Singaporean users just days later.
As TheCoinRise reported, Binance’s Singapore crypto trading platform said on Dec. 13 that it would withdraw its DPT license application and cease operations in Singapore.