Singapore approves its first fully-regulated crypto exchange.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has granted its first approval in principle to a cryptocurrency exchange under the new licensing regime. This saw the platform become the first exchange in the country to trade as a fully regulated virtual asset service provider. Australian crypto exchange Independent Reserve received the regulatory green flag under the provisions of the Payment Services Act, which was brought into law in January 2020. 


The Monetary Authority approved the crypto firm this week. 

The Monetary Authority of Singapore, which acts as the country’s de facto central bank, gave the go-ahead in a letter written to the exchange this week. The legislation sets out the rules around the regulation of digital currency exchanges in clear terms and the guidelines for businesses looking to operate as exchanges within the country. Since the law came into force last year in January, crypto exchanges have been permitted to operate under an exemption, pending successful licensing applications under the new regime. 


“Singapore’s regulations “provide certainty for us as industry participants and security for our customers.”

Independent Reserve has been approved for a Major Payment Institution Licence, which would allow the exchange to act as a provider of Digital Payment Token Services. However, it brings with its obligations to install adequate consumer protections, as well as compliance with relevant anti-money laundering regulations, including the FATF’s “travel rule.” On choosing Singapore, CEO Adrian Przelozny said the company was attracted to the licensing regime because it “provides certainty for us as industry participants and security for our customers.” Singapore has also reportedly benefited from political uncertainty in Hong Kong, driven by increasingly hostile attitudes from Beijing, as it helped Singapore mark itself out as a regional center for the emerging digital currency sector.