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Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase gets Singapore regulatory approval

Singapore has granted Coinbase regulatory approval to run cryptocurrency-related services in the island state. It is a big win for Coinbase as it continues to expand internationally despite continued pressure on the crypto market.

Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images

US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase received a key regulatory license in Singapore as it ramps up expansion overseas, the company said on Tuesday.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, granted Coinbase an in-principle approval to provide regulated digital token products and services in the island state.

Coinbase’s regulatory approval comes as the crypto market remains under pressure. Around $2 trillion has been wiped off the value of the market with major tokens like bitcoin spirit ether in the red this year.

Contagion from the collapse of major projects and bankruptcies across firms has spread across the industry. Coinbase announced in June that it was laying off 18% of its workforce.

Still, the US exchange has pushed ahead with international expansion and is seeking to hire people across new markets in Europe.

Coinbase has been making steady investments in Singapore. Last year, the company announced that Singapore will be one of its tech development hubs. The island state is also the hub for Coinbase’s business focused on institutional investors in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Gaining this in-principle approval from MAS is an important step, as we plan to launch our full suite of retail, institutional and ecosystem products,” Coinbase said in a blog post on Tuesday.

MAS has given such approvals to 15 different firms as Singapore looks to build its reputation as a regulated global hub for the cryptocurrency industry.

While the central banks have warned about the “speculative” risks of cryptocurrencies and have looked to tighten rules around trading for retail investors, it is still trying to attract businesses to set up shop in Singapore.

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