Here Are All The Licensed Crypto Services Providers in Singapore

Here Are All The Licensed Crypto Services Providers in Singapore

by August 4, 2022

On January 14, 2019, the Singapore Parliament passed its comprehensive Payment Services Act (PS Act), replacing the former Payment Systems Oversight Act and Money-Changing and Remittance Businesses Act to broaden the scope of regulated payment activities to include emerging trends and industries like digital assets and cryptocurrencies.

The legislation, which aims to provide regulatory certainty and consumer safeguards in relation to payments activities, all the while encouraging innovation and growth of payment services and fintech, regulates seven services: account issuance, domestic money transfers, cross-border money transfers, merchant acquisition services, e-money issuance, money-changing, and so-called digital payment token (DPT) services.

It also lays out a modular licensing framework comprising three different license classes. Each license allows the holder to conduct multiple specific payment services. The Money-Changing Licence allows businesses to conduct money-changing services; the Standard Payment Institution Licence allows them to conduct multiple payment services below specified thresholds; and the Major Payment Institution Licence allows businesses to conduct multiple payment services without any limits on transaction volume or float.

Singapore's Payment Services Act licensing framework for payment service providers, Source: Deloitte, 2019

Singapore’s Payment Services Act licensing framework for payment service providers, Source: Deloitte, 2019

Since the PS Act came into effect on January 28, 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has received over 580 applications for payments services licenses and completed review of more than half of them, MAS board member Alvin Tan said on April 4, 2022.

87 applications had been approved, 11 rejected, and 147 entities withdrew their applications. Around 179 entities remained exempted from licensing and still awaited regulatory review.

Data from MAS’ Financial Institutions Directory show that, as of August 01, 2022, 231 Money-Changing, 13 Standard Payment Institution, and 175 Major Payment Institution licenses had been issued. Of these, only ten companies were permitted to provide DPT services. In addition, desk research suggest that at least four companies have so far received in-principle approval for either a Standard or Major Payment Institution license.

These figures suggest that despite early claims that a clear regulatory framework would provide a solid foundation for Singapore to consolidate its position as Asia’s crypto hub and allow the nation to see the emergence of a thriving crypto sector, the rules have actually weeded out an awful lot of startups, among which Binance and Huobi.

Further highlighting Singapore’s changing stance towards crypto businesses, several new rules have been introduced this year, which forbid DPT service providers to promote their services to the general public, and require crypto service providers in the city-state which only do business overseas to be licensed regardless.

More regulations are set to hit the market in the coming months, including rules governing retail participation and the use of leverage in crypto investing, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Minister in charge of MAS, wrote in a statement to the Parliament on July 04, 2022.

Singapore’s ten licensed crypto services providers

As of August 01, 2022, MAS had given the green light to ten crypto service providers. These entities comprise eight Major Payment Institution licensees and two Standard Payment Institution licensees:

Eight Major Payment Institutions permitted to provide DPT Services

DBS Vickers Securities

DBS Vickers Securities is a securities and derivatives brokerage firm owned by DBS that allows clients to invest in stock exchanges, initial public offerings (IPOs) and private placements. It’s also the operator of the DBS Digital Exchange, a provider of member-only exchanges offering professional investors with access to digital assets such as security tokens and crypto.

Digital Treasures Center

Digital Treasures Center is an enterprise solutions provider offering merchants online services for accepting digital payment solutions including payment settlement, debit card, digital wallets, and cryptocurrencies.

FOMO pay

FOMO Pay provides a digital payment processing platform that allows merchants and financial institutions in emerging markets to accept a full suite of mobile payments, including cryptocurrencies.

Independent Reserve

Independent Reserve is a regulated crypto exchange serving more than 200,000 customers in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

revolut

Revolut is a digital bank from the UK that’s looking to introduce DPT services in Singapore soon, including the ability for local customers to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies.

Sparrow

Sparrow Tech Private offers digital asset products and solutions. These include enabling PayNow transactions for institutional and high-net-worth clients who buy and sell cryptocurrencies using fiat on its trading platform, as well as working with financial institutions and family offices to design bespoke digital asset solutions.

Coinhako

Hako Technology operates the Coinhacko crypto exchange platform, which allows investors to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using various payment methods including bank transfers and credit cards.

Digital Treasures Center (DTC) is now a fully regulated provider of account issuance, merchant acquisition, domestic money transfer, cross-border money transfer, e-money issuance as well as digital payment token services.

Two Standard Payment Institutions permitted to provide DPT Services

BHEXSG

BHOP Consulting runs BHex, a financial decentralized digital asset trading platform. The company provides crypto assets, as well as custody and clearing infrastructure services.

Triple A

Triple A Technologies provides a white-label crypto payment solution, serving e-commerce merchants, retailers, game providers, payment services providers, fintech companies, marketplaces and tech companies.

At least four crypto companies have received in-principle approval

Crypto.com

Crypto.com is a crypto exchange headquartered in Singapore that supports trading, investing, staking, wallets, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and more. It claims 50 million customers.

paxos

Paxos is a New York-headquartered financial institution and technology company specializing in blockchain technology. The company’s product offerings include a cryptocurrency brokerage service, asset tokenization services, and settlement services.

Hodlnaut

Hodlnaut is a a Singapore-based fintech startup that allows crypto investors to earn interest on their crypto holdings by lending them to vetted institutions.

luno

Luno is a global crypto exchange headquartered in London that serves over 10 million customers across more than 40 countries.

Featured image credit: Edited from Unsplash

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