sin03 gets MAS licence to offer digital payment token services to Singapore customers

CRYPTO.COM has been granted a major payment institution licence by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), nearly one year after the crypto company received an in-principle approval from the central bank.

This allows the company to continue to extend its digital payment token services to customers in Singapore, it said on Jun 1.

Jun 1 is also the day Hong Kong allows its retail traders to trade cryptocurrency assets. Regulators are also keeping a close eye on the space, making it mandatory for crypto exchanges to seek a licence with the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) before they can sell and market to Hong Kong customers.

So far, only two exchanges have been granted licences – HashKey PRO and OSL. Major crypto exchange Huobi said it has applied to the SFC to offer its services in Hong Kong, while OKX said it will be offering crypto trading to Hong Kong residents via its app.

The move, which was only recently announced by Hong Kong authorities, comes as the regulators believe that virtual assets are here to stay.

This has boosted the territory’s popularity among crypto players, as countries around the world increase scrutiny on the subject.

In Singapore, MAS has also been actively looking at ways to regulate the sector, including a consultation paper published in October last year, which looks at measures to reduce risks to consumers from cryptocurrency trading and enhance standards of stablecoin-related activities.

However, the regulator has always warned of significant risks associated with cryptocurrency trading, following a slew of busts within the sector in the past few months, including FTX.

Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS, also said in a speech last year that MAS deems cryptocurrencies as “unsuitable for use as money and as highly hazardous for retail investors”, though it sees “good potential” in stablecoins – provided they are securely backed by high quality reserves and well regulated.