Singapore has consolidated its status as a leading cryptocurrency fintech hub in its recent move to license digital payment service providers.
As other Asian cities such as Hong Kong remain firm in cryptocurrency-related legislation, Singapore’s welcoming position hopes to attract digital asset groups. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been an active promoter of fintech technology companies, in an attempt to attract investment and entrepreneurs to contribute to the country’s development.
Singapore’s path to cryptocurrency regulation has so far been a prudent and interesting journey. In this article, we take a look at the key developments in cryptography in Singapore over the years.
FYB-SG was founded on the local exchange of cryptocurrencies January 2013 and offered bitcoin trading by fiat currency, more specifically in Singapore dollars.
Later that year, investigations arose related to the Liberty Reserve online money transfer service, which attracted Singapore to high profile criminal case.
Liberty Reserve allegedly facilitated a member of the Dominican Republic gang to deposit thousands of dollars of stolen cash into two of the company’s accounts through currency centers based in Russia and Singapore. This was one of the first cases prompt authorities to regulate the virtual currency industry.
In September 2013, MAS warned consumers against bitcoin trading although some Singapore merchants have begun to accept cryptocurrency payments for physical goods.
Launch of Tembusu terminals Asia’s first Bitcoin ATM at a small Boat Quay pub in February 2014.
The following month, Singapore should become the second country in the world after the United States to regulate digital currencies like bitcoin.
MAS issued a proposal to verify customer identities in any virtual currency exchange and urged to report suspicious transactions. This regulation was imposed to address the potential risks of money laundering or terrorist financing.
That same year, Coinhako was the Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange platform released. Its digital platform allows consumers to buy, sell and protect Bitcoin and other digital assets.
Coinhako is also one of the first digital asset portfolio services in Asia and now stores more than 100,000 user portfolios.
In 2015, there were 63 cryptocurrency companies in Singapore. The same year, the Singapore-based payment processing gateway offering credit card processing and Internet bank transfers, Xfers, was launched.
Tembusu, also the start of its own cryptography, responsible for the first bitcoin ATM in Asia get up A $ 1.2 million for cryptocurrency development in January 2015. This new capital injection valued the company at $ 11 million.
Coinbase, one of the largest bitcoin companies in the world, launched buying and retailing operations in Singapore and Canada in September 2015, as part of its drive to expand the use of digital currency globally. Singapore was the company’s first foray into Asia.
TenX was also founded in 2015 during a hackathon in Singapore; is a payment platform that allows users to make daily transactions with cryptocurrency.
Bank of Canada and MAS embarked Project Jasper and Project Ubin in 2016.
As part of the Ubin Project, MAS partnered with blockchain technology companies and financial institutions to make interbank payments using blockchain technology.
Digix, founded in Singapore, a gold tracking asset in the Ethereum blockchain, get up its multi-purpose target of US $ 5.5 million in less than 12 hours in April 2016.
Unfortunately, two Bitcoin ATMs in Tiong Bahru Plaza and Hong Lim Complex crashed as the price of the cryptocurrency soared to US $ 16,000 in December 2017. Bitcoin portfolio service provider Coinhako was one of the few cryptocurrency-related companies to experience closing bank accounts for part of local banks.
In June 2017, TenX was launched, the start of the Singapore-based cryptocurrency US $ 80 million for its ICO, in which he raised $ 43 million in just seven minutes.
From Singapore first legal dispute involving cryptocurrency bitcoins went on trial on December 5, 2017. Electronic market maker B2C2 attempted to recover 3,084,78582325 bitcoins from Singapore-based bitcoin exchange operator Quoine.
In December 2017, cryptocurrency company Ducatus Global opened in Singapore first coffee without cash to Robinson Road’s Oxley Tower. It only accepts cashless payments, including cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ducatus. It also has an ATM in the store.
On December 17, 2017, Bitcoin reached an all-time high of 19,783.06 US dollars, compared to January 2017, when a single Bitcoin was worth slightly below US $ 1,000.
After this climb, MAS issued a communicated to the media warning the public against investing in cryptocurrencies on December 20, 2017. A couple of days later, on December 22, 2017, Bitcoin fell 45 percent at US $ 11,000.
Bluzelle, a Singapore-based decentralized storage network company, raised nearly $ 20 million with its 24-hour campaign in February 2018.
In 2018, parliamentary issues were raised over the ban on trading in cryptocurrencies. MAS answered favorably to cryptocurrency traders, adding that the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing will be closely monitored.
In addition, MAS reaffirmed the economic and social benefits of encouraging experiments in the blockchain space, especially with respect to cryptocurrencies.
MORE then issued a warning in 2018 to eight digital token exchanges in Singapore for not facilitating the trading of digital tokens that are securities or futures contracts without authorization. It also warned an issuer of the Initial Supply of Coins (ICO) to stop offering its digital tokens to local investors in Singapore.
As of November 2018, the value of Bitcoin was reported having fallen to about $ 5,500.
Copy of Funan outlet began accepting payments in digital currency, including bitcoin, ethereum and creatane, in 2019.
Binance, now one of the largest cryptographic exchange platforms in the world, released in Singapore in April 2019.
The MAS issued a consultation paper on November 20, 2019, proposing that derivatives of payment tokens can be traded on an approved Exchange and regulating the activity according to the Securities and Futures Act.
Torque, an investment platform that appears to use a multilevel marketing scheme, also joined 2019 of the Singaporean Bernard Ong, in the British Virgin Islands.
TenX announced a indefinite closure and interruption of its services in January 2020.
MAS launched the Payments Services Act (PSA) in Singapore. The payment services law is a framework for the regulation of payment systems and payment service providers in Singapore. It ensures regulatory security and consumer guarantees, while encouraging innovation and the growth of payment and Fintech services.
For example, Xfers received the Higher Payment Institution (MPI) license a January 28, 2020 for MAS. Later in October, the company launched XSGD in october 2020, the first stablecoin that meets the world’s travel rules backed 1: 1 with the singapore dollar.
MAS and Temasek too announced on July 13, 2020, the final phase of the Ubin Project was successfully completed.
DBS announced on December 10, 2020, it will establish a member-only digital exchange (DDEx) for cryptocurrencies for wealthy institutions and customers to take advantage of asset tokenization.
Twins it began supporting the Singapore dollar in the purchase and trade of cryptography on 22 December 2020.
In February 2021 the collapse of the Singapore-based cryptocurrency trading platform, Torque, and the suspension of all its trading activities. Until 155 police reports were filed against Torque in April 2021, and investors claimed losses in millions in cryptocurrencies.
Singapore was too reported will be the center of digital securities trading in Asia in March 2021.
In addition to the cross-border money transfer service, AdyenThe license as the main payment institution under PSA was extended to include merchant acquisition and domestic money transfer services. In addition, Adyen Singapore was the first global payment provider to obtain a license for merchant acquisition service under the PSA.
Report on the state of cryptography in Singapore 2021, done in July 2021, by cryptocurrency exchange Gemini found that Ether is Singapore’s most proprietary cryptocurrency, followed by Bitcoin, Cardano and Binance. The report found that 34% of non-cryptocurrency holders are likely to start investing in cryptography next year.
To consolidate the state of Singapore as a hub of cryptocurrency and blockchain, MAS delivered the first PSA licenses in August 2021. For example, Independent Reserve, an cryptography exchange founded in Australia, was granted a “principle approval” of MAS under the Payment Services Act on August 3, 2021.
DBS launched the digital exchange, DBS Vickers, in August 2021, which received an MAS approval in principle to offer cryptographic trading services for digital payment tokens. DDEx reportedly recorded nearly $ 180 million in total trade value in 2021.
What lies ahead in cryptography in Singapore?
The future of cryptography in Singapore looks bright. Singapore’s growth as a regional hub is driving new initiatives in nearby countries, such as Thailand and Japan.
However, new challenges are likely to arise, such as security issues and the price of the underlying assets. Users may still have reservations with commerce in the digital space, as cybersecurity issues persist. Liquidity and transparency in digital asset pricing still have a lot of room for improvement, and there is optimism as the market grows to accommodate more liquidity.
At the same time, the question remains of how the growth of digital exchanges could threaten or complement more traditional currency exchanges.
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