Bitstamp Secures In-Principle Approval for Singapore License

Crypto exchange Bitstamp secures in-principle approval from Singapore for payment institution license to offer digital token services.

Key Insights

  • Crypto exchange Bitstamp receives in-principle approval for payment institution license in Singapore
  • Allows Bitstamp to provide regulated digital payment token services in the Asian hub
  • Marks milestone as it pushes for APAC expansion amid booming institutional crypto demand

SINGAPORE (MarketsXplora) – Major cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp said on Monday it has received in-principle approval from Singapore’s central bank for a licence to provide digital payment token services in the Asian hub.

The in-principle nod from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) paves the way for Bitstamp to operate as a regulated platform in the city-state under the Payment Services Act.

It marks a significant milestone for the European-headquartered crypto exchange as it pushes for regional expansion amid booming institutional demand for digital assets in Asia-Pacific.

“Attaining this approval is a step forward in our quest to expand across important APAC markets,” said Jean-Baptiste Graftieaux, Bitstamp’s CEO.

“Singapore has been welcoming towards crypto players and we plan to operate as a locally licensed venue for participants in the region.”

The greenlight comes at an opportune time for Bitstamp, billed as the world’s oldest surviving cryptocurrency exchange, as jurisdictions like the European Union roll out new regulatory frameworks for the crypto sector this year.

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Founded in 2011, Bitstamp says it is the first major crypto exchange with a big European presence to achieve approval in Singapore.

“We are excited to be the first to do so and aid collaboration between both jurisdictions,” Graftieaux added.

The Luxembourg-based company already holds over 50 operating licences and registrations globally including in major markets like the United States, United Kingdom, France and Italy.

Bitstamp first secured regulatory status in Luxembourg back in 2016 before expanding to other jurisdictions as virtual assets became more mainstream and oversight tightened worldwide.

In Asia, regulators have taken a stricter line on licensing and supervising crypto exchanges amid concerns about their links to money laundering, scams and disruptive speculation.

These factors have spurred major jurisdictions like Singapore to put in place firmer guardrails around the nascent crypto sector.

“Singapore was a first mover in establishing a regulatory framework for crypto exchanges,” said Leonard Hoh, Bitstamp’s APAC general manager.

“We see that leadership cementing Singapore as a future centre for digital assets and their convergence with mainstream finance.”

Hoh added the licence approval supports Bitstamp’s compliance-focused proposition and facilitates growing regional demand from institutional investors drawn to established, regulated crypto platforms.

The approval represents a vote of confidence in Bitstamp as Singapore continues its judicious embrace of the digital asset industry following a series of high-profile corporate failures and scandals.

Alongside stringent licensing criteria, MAS requires crypto firms maintain punitive base capital levels and impose retail investor restrictions.

Further details on Bitstamp’s launch plans for its Singapore operations are expected in the coming months once full licensing is secured.

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