MAS grants in-principle approvals to more fintechs for crypto services

crypto licence Singapore

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued more in-principle approvals to fintechs looking to get a Major Payment Institution License to offer crypto services in Singapore.

The latest companies given the nod to expand their cryptocurrency offerings and other digital asset services include two Singapore-based fintechs – payments firm Digital Treasures Center (DTC) and cryptocurrency platform Hodlnaut – as well as US platform Paxos.

Digital Treasures Center (DTC) got the green light for its cryptocurrency or digital payment token (DPT) services as well as other payment services.

So too did US-based blockchain infrastructure platform Paxos for its DPT services, while crypto platform Hodlnaut received in-principle approval for its Token Swaps, which allow users to exchange cryptocurrencies – for instance from Bitcoin to Ethereum.

Hodlnaut said in a statement that the approval was a significant milestone towards a full Major Payment Institution License in Singapore.

Companies can be granted an exemption under the Payment Services Act to provide specific DPT services for a certain period while they wait for a licence application to be considered. Once in-principle approval is given, they must then meet further MAS requirements to get a full license.

The MAS has so far granted full licenses to only four firms to provide cryptocurrency services. Singapore’s FOMO Pay, DBS Vickers and Triple A, along with Australian crypto exchange Independent Reserve, received the first full licences to trade DPTs late last year.

Rich Teo, co-founder and chief executive of Paxos Asia, said Singapore was an attractive destination for blockchain technology firms. He said Paxos was founded in Singapore a decade ago because of the country’s forward-thinking approach to innovation and oversight.

“Since then, we’ve distinguished ourselves globally as the most trusted blockchain infrastructure provider because we’ve relentlessly pursued regulatory oversight,” Teo said in a statement.

“We believe it’s the only way for consumers and financial institutions alike to truly experience the benefits of the blockchain and digital assets.”

Also in the mix of the latest MAS in-principle approvals in March, Swiss crypto bank Sygnum has the go-ahead to expand its regulated activities under its local capital markets services (CMS) licence.

Sygnum Singapore will now be able to provide corporate advice to firms looking to raise capital in the crypto space, and can offer dealing in tokenised capital market products as well as custodial services for digital assets and security tokens.

“Singapore continues to be a welcoming destination for trusted financial institutions seeking to meet the growing demand for regulated digital asset financial services,” said Gerald Goh, Sygnum co-founder and Singapore chief executive.

“With the recent conclusion of our Series B fundraise, we are committed to accelerating the expansion of our suite of offerings in the financial hub.”

The MAS also approved a CMS licence for Hydra X in early March, enabling the Singapore-headquartered fintech to deal in and provide custodial services for capital market products, including tokenised securities.