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Out-Law News 1 min. read

Singapore central bank issues three crypto licence in-principle approvals

Singapore’s central bank will issue three more digital payment token (DPT) service licences, which will enable companies to offer crypto services.

Singapore’s deputy prime minister Heng Swee Keat gave the update in a recent speech, but did not name the three platforms.

Cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com later issued a press release stating that it was one of the platforms to receive in-principle approval from the central bank. Once it receives the permit, the platform will be able to offer payment services including DPT services under the Payment Service Act.

According to a report, the other two applicants are trading platforms Genesis and Sparrow Exchange.

Hanna Nicholas

Nicholas Hanna


Regulating cryptocurrencies at a high standard by the MAS will most likely benefit investors because greater regulatory guidance, if well targeted, will help to protect investors and ensure that only the best companies offer services in an industry which is fast developing and touching our daily lives.

The Payment Services Act came into effect in January 2020. All providers of DPT services operating in Singapore must be registered and licensed under the Act. Before the three new licences, Singapore had granted licences and in-principle approvals to 11 DPT service providers. Regulator MAS has received 196 applications as at the end of May.

Nicholas Hanna of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint law venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, said: “In the context of growing consumer activity and the tremendous attention being paid to the crypto industry, it is not surprising to find that the application to obtain a DPT licence is highly coveted as such a licence allows companies to offer a range of crypto services. The fact that to-date, only about 11 DPT licences and in-principle approvals have been granted out of the 196 applications received, suggests that the due diligence process for licensing crypto business is highly stringent and scrutinised by MAS, the regulatory authority for the issuance of a DPT licence.”

In January, Singapore released a policy to tighten restrictions on the promotion of cryptoassets amidst concerns the public are being enticed into high-risk investments without sufficient warnings. The DPT service providers subject to the new restrictions include payment institutions, banks and other financial institutions and applicants under the Payment Services Act.

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