Upbit Singapore Enters New Phase with MAS License
Upbit, one of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has marked a significant milestone in its international expansion. The exchange’s Singaporean branch, Upbit Singapore, has successfully obtained a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). This achievement, announced on January 8 on Upbit’s official website, paves the way for an extensive range of services to be offered in Singapore.
Expanding Services in Singapore’s Crypto Market
The acquisition of the MPI license by Upbit Singapore is a crucial step in its growth strategy. With this license, Upbit joins a select group of 15 institutions in Singapore that hold MPI status. This elite group includes prominent names such as Ripple, Blockchain.com, Paxos, Coinbase, and Revolut. The license is not just a regulatory approval but a gateway to expanded opportunities in the Singaporean market.
A Strategic Move Since 2018
Upbit’s journey in Singapore dates back to 2018, and the recent license acquisition is a fruition of its long-term strategy in the region. In October 2023, the Monetary Authority of Singapore granted initial in-principal approval to Upbit Singapore. Raks Sondhi, the COO of Upbit Singapore, emphasized the company’s focus on catering to the institutional segment and supporting infrastructure projects in Singapore.
Significance of the MPI License
Holding an MPI license is a significant advantage in the financial sector of Singapore. It allows institutions like Upbit to offer both cryptocurrency and fiat-related services. Importantly, licensed entities are not bound by the usual transaction limits – up to 3 million Singaporean dollars per transaction and 6 million Singaporean dollars monthly.
MAS’s Regulatory Framework for Crypto Services
In November 2023, MAS introduced strict measures for digital payment token service providers. These guidelines are designed to curb speculation in cryptocurrency investments. The new regulations prohibit offering financing or leveraged transactions in cryptocurrencies and disallow the use of credit cards for purchasing crypto. Furthermore, crypto holdings are not to be considered part of a customer’s net worth by banking institutions. These measures reflect MAS’s commitment to a stable and responsible fintech ecosystem.
Upbit Singapore’s license acquisition represents a significant development in the Asian cryptocurrency landscape, signaling a growing acceptance and institutionalization of digital currency services in the region.