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Sygnum Singapore Obtains Major Payment Institution License for Crypto Brokerage Services

Hassan Shittu
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: AdobeStock / SANCHAI

Sygnum Singapore, a subsidiary of the Switzerland-based cryptocurrency bank Sygnum, has received approval for its Major Payment Institution License (MPIL) from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to be able to provide crypto brokerage services to accredited investors and institutions in Singapore.

On October 3, Sygnum Singapore marked a significant achievement by completing the licensing process for its MPIL, which empowers the company to initiate its regulated Digital Payment Token (DPT) brokerage service in Singapore.

The approval follows Sygnum Singapore’s in-principle approval for the MPIL back in June of this year. Remarkably, the company swiftly transitioned from in-principle approval to a full license within a mere four months. This license empowers MPI-licensed firms to conduct payment services without being subjected to transaction limits, which were previously set at 3 million Singapore dollars ($2.2 million) and monthly limits of 6 million Singaporean dollars ($4.4 million) for any payment service.

Sygnum Gains Momentum with MPI License, Sets Sights on APAC Expansion, Including Hong Kong

Founded in 2018, Sygnum has accumulated over CHF 3.2 billion in Assets Under Management (AuM) and has garnered a client base exceeding 1,600 individuals and institutions hailing from over 60 countries, as noted in its press release. 

Sygnum has built a diverse clientele, serving institutional and accredited investors, banks, financial institutions, and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) foundations. Besides its operations in Singapore, the company has expanded its regulated services to Luxembourg and Abu Dhabi.

With the newly acquired MPI license enabling Sygnum to provide a more comprehensive array of fully regulated crypto services to its Singaporean clients, the company is poised for further expansion into the Asia-Pacific (APAC) markets, with a particular focus on Hong Kong.

Gerald Goh, Sygnum Co-Founder and CEO of Singapore, said:

“The MAS is one of the most progressive regulators in the world when it comes to providing a clear and robust framework around digital assets. The most recent guidelines on stablecoins have shown the industry a well-defined path forward. We believe such developments will empower investors to increase their exposure to digital assets with complete trust.”

MAS Actively Grants MPI Licenses, Including Approvals for GSR Markets and Coinbase

Notably, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been proactive in granting Major Payment Institution (MPI) licenses to several Digital Payment Token companies, including well-known names like Coinbase, GSR, Blockchain.com, Circle, Paxos, and Ripple, among others.

On October 2, GSR Markets, a subsidiary of cryptocurrency market maker GSR, received in-principle approval for an MPI license from MAS. Notably, on the same day, Coinbase also announced the approval of its MPI license application from MAS. Coinbase had already received in-principle approval in October 2022, marking significant progress in the regulatory landscape for digital payment services in Singapore.

The MAS, serving as Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator, has maintained stringent criteria for licensing cryptocurrency firms. The authority places significant emphasis on robust anti-money laundering controls, resulting in many applicants failing to meet the required standards.

It’s worth noting that approximately 180 companies applied for the cryptocurrency payments license in 2020 when Singapore introduced its regulatory framework for the sector. In August 2022, the MAS announced plans to implement regulations aimed at making it more challenging for retail investors to engage in cryptocurrency trading, especially given the risks associated with such investments.