Crypto exchange Coinbase (NASDAQ:), based in San Francisco, has solidified its presence in Southeast Asia by obtaining a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, announced on Monday. This development comes a year after the firm received preliminary approval from the regulator. Previously, Coinbase had considered entering the Singaporean market through the acquisition of the now-defunct crypto exchange Zipmex but withdrew from the deal in mid-2022.
With this license, Coinbase joins an expanding roster of firms authorized to offer digital payment token services within Singapore. The MPI license enables Coinbase to provide a variety of crypto payment services to both individuals and institutions in the city-state. Currently, the exchange offers trading and staking services to its users, with staking involving the temporary lockup of users’ digital tokens to validate blockchain transactions, leading to rewards in additional tokens.
Coinbase has recognized Singapore as an essential market due to its progressive economic strategies and regulatory approach that align well with the firm’s global mission and objectives. A survey conducted by Coinbase in May revealed that 25% of Singaporeans perceive cryptocurrency as the future of finance, while 32% have either owned or currently own some form of cryptocurrency assets. In response to local demand, Coinbase introduced convenient funding options like PayNow and FAST bank transfers, along with the SingPass onboarding system earlier this year.
Singapore serves as Coinbase’s technology hub for the Asia Pacific region. The company has actively invested in over 15 Web3 startups in the region through its investment arm, Coinbase Ventures. Despite facing regulatory challenges such as a lawsuit filed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission alleging illegal operations, Coinbase reported improved financial results in August with Q2 net loss narrowing to $97 million from a record $1.1 billion in the previous year. The company’s Q2 revenue exceeded estimates, amounting to $707.9 million, though it declined by 12% compared to the previous quarter.
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