Out of the total 176 companies applying for crypto licenses in Singapore, only 73 have a chance to operate crypto-related services in the country. The rest have either been disapproved or have withdrawn their applications, dispelling the myth that it’s plain sailing to operate crypto services in the city-state.
According to a report by Nikkei Asia, only 3 companies have so far been approved by the MAS and 70 companies are waiting for approval. The companies had applied for licenses that let them provide “digital payment token services” in the country. The license applications should be approved by Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator the ‘Monetary Authority of Singapore’.
In Singapore, related businesses such as crypto exchanges are required to apply for an operating license in compliance with the “Payment Service Law”. However, some of the popular exchanges, such as Binance and Huobi, have shut down businesses in the city-state after failing to receive relevant licenses.
While MAS suggested a positive stance on blockchain technology and CBDCs, it recognized the risks of money laundering and terror financing that come with cryptocurrencies. A spokesperson for the MAS told Nikkei Asia:
“Cryptocurrencies could be abused for money laundering, terrorism financing or proliferation financing due to the speed and cross-border nature of the transactions. Digital payment token service providers in Singapore … have to comply with requirements to mitigate such risks, including the need to carry out proper customer due diligence, conduct regular account reviews, and monitor and report suspicious transactions.”
The three companies that were approved by MAS include securities company DBS Vickers, Austria-based cryptocurrency exchange Independent Reserve, and payments startup FOMO Pay.