Singapore’s new Payment Services Act is opening up new avenues for global cryptocurrency players in the region. The measure will help Singapore get one step closer to Japan, which has emerged as a major center for crypto trading in Asia.
What does the new legislation offer?
The new act will provide global crypto firms an opportunity to expand their business in Singapore. They will now be eligible to apply for operation licenses here. The Payment Services Act came into force today and provides a comprehensive set of regulations for companies interested in handling digital payments and deal in cryptocurrency trading.
The act will help in bringing crypto companies under Singaporean regulation. They will be managed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore which will now exercise its monetary and supervisory powers. The companies will have to follow anti-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering controls. Singaporean legislation for digital assets will add regulatory clarity on several crypto services like exchanges and wallets.
Coming closer to Japan
The biggest cryptocurrency hub in Asia is Japan, which has 22 licensed exchanges providing a host of crypto-related services. Japan also has other favorable laws that make it very advantageous for crypto companies and other projects. Investors have also shown keen interest in the crypto sector while users have been using digital assets for payments as well.
CEO of Tokyo-based Liquid Group Mike Kayamori said, “We welcome the Act with open arms.” The group is planning to apply for a license in Singapore via a local subsidiary- Quoine Pte. Luno’s general manager in Singapore Sherry Goh, noted that the legislation not just provides clarity to the industry players but also adds trust for consumers.
Data from Chainalysis suggests that 40% of the top 50 cryptocurrency exchanges in the world are based in Asia-Pacific. They also accounted for 40% of total Bitcoin transactions in the first half of 2019, making it one of the most important crypto markets. Singapore’s new law leverages the possibilities of this region and adds to its existing crypto positive sentiment.
Note that Binance Holdings, which operates one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, has a Singapore office. It is unclear if the firm will seek a license in Singapore.