Singapore’s central bank has granted official approval to DBS Vickers (DBSV), the brokerage arm of DBS Bank, to provide digital payment token services in the city-state. Independent Reserve, an Australian crypto exchange, received the same approval one month after the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) granted the first license of its kind to local fintech startup Fomo Pay.
Launched last December as a member-only bourse, DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx) only services institutional and accredited investors, DDEx said in a press release. It expects to double its user count to 1,000 and grow its user base by 20–30% annually for the next three years. With its new license, DBSV will give asset managers and financial firms a way to trade crypto via DDEx.
“This marks another significant milestone in our ability to provide integrated solutions across the digital asset value chain, from deal origination to tokenization, listing, trading, and custody,” said Eng-Kwok Seat Moey, head of capital markets of DBS, Southeast Asia’s largest bank by assets.
In all, 43% of Singapore’s population owns crypto, while 93% of people in the city-state said that they had heard of crypto, according to a survey conducted in May by Independent Reserve.
With its new license, Independent Reserve will provide crypto trading services to both retail and institutional investors. Founded in 2013, the firm now serves more than 200,000 customers in Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand.
“A well-regulated environment will benefit both investors and crypto industry stakeholders. With tailor-made rules for the crypto industry, Singapore currently has the clearest and most detailed licensing requirements of any jurisdiction in Asia,” said CEO Adrian Przelozny in a public statement.
On Monday, Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, announced that it will suspend some of its services on Binance.com, including fiat deposit services, spot trading of cryptocurrencies, the purchase of cryptocurrencies through fiat channels, and liquidity swaps. In early September, the MAS added the platform to its Investor Alert List, which includes unregulated individuals or businesses that may have been wrongly perceived as being licensed or regulated by the central bank.
“We will be restricting Singapore users in respect of the Regulated Payments Services, which is in line with our commitment to compliance. Users in Singapore are advised to cease all related trades, withdraw fiat assets, and redeem tokens,” Binance said in a blogpost, adding that Singaporean users can register an account on Binance.sg, which is a separate legal entity that operates under exemptions granted by the central bank.
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