Ripple Obtains Major Payments Institution License in Singapore
Ripple Expands Presence in Asia-Pacific Region
Cryptocurrency company Ripple has announced that it has acquired a significant payments institution license in Singapore. This move is a strategic step towards expanding its operations in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore granted an initial in-principle approval to Ripple just four months ago. Now, with the full license, Ripple will be able to continue offering regulated crypto payment services in Singapore.
Ripple stated, “Over 90% of Ripple’s business is conducted outside of the U.S., and Singapore, as well as the Asia-Pacific region at large, is one of our fastest growing markets.”
Emphasizing its commitment to the region, Ripple plans to prioritize the adoption of its crypto payment services in Singapore.
Monica Long, the president of Ripple, revealed in an interview with HaberTusba last month that the company’s Singapore office has seen significant growth, with the headcount more than doubling in the past year due to the booming business in the Asia-Pacific region.
Singapore has been at the forefront of crypto regulation in the region. The Payment Services Act, which regulates payment services and the provision of crypto services to the public, has been in effect since January 2020.
Ripple’s Positive Outlook on Singapore
The city-state has increased its scrutiny on crypto firms, requiring them to safeguard customer assets under a statutory trust by the end of 2023. It also imposes restrictions on these firms, prohibiting them from facilitating lending or staking of retail customers’ assets.
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, expressed his confidence in Singapore, stating, “Since establishing Singapore as our Asia Pacific headquarters in 2017, the country has played a crucial role in Ripple’s global business. We have attracted exceptional talent and local leadership and plan to further expand our presence in this progressive jurisdiction.”
Garlinghouse also commended MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) for their leadership, stating, “Singapore has evolved into one of the leading fintech and digital asset hubs, striking a balance between innovation, consumer protection, and responsible growth.”
This positive sentiment towards Singapore stands in contrast to Ripple’s situation in the U.S., where it is currently facing legal battles with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC charged Ripple and its founders in 2020, alleging the illegal sale of its native cryptocurrency XRP without proper registration. However, a landmark ruling in July determined that XRP itself is not necessarily a security.
Crypto Firms Find Clarity and Opportunity in Singapore
Coinbase, another prominent crypto firm, has also expressed frustration with the lack of clarity around crypto regulations in the U.S. In response to the SEC’s crackdown, both Coinbase and Ripple have threatened to leave the country.
In a positive development, Coinbase recently announced that it has obtained a major payment institution license in Singapore after receiving in-principle approval approximately a year ago. With this license, Coinbase joins more than a dozen firms licensed to provide crypto services in Singapore.