21 April, 2024

Singapore’s MAS Grants GSR Markets License to Enhance Crypto Services

04 Apr, 2024

04 Apr, 2024

  • GSR Markets has been granted a Major Payment Institution license by Singapore’s Monetary Authority, marking a significant milestone for the crypto market maker.
  • With this license, GSR Markets is set to broaden its offerings to include spot over-the-counter trading and market-making services.
  • Singapore amended the Payment Services Act in 2021 to include more crypto services like custody and cross-border remittance.

GSR Markets, a major crypto market maker, has made headlines as it secured a Major Payment Institution license in Singapore. Authorized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the development has labeled GSR Markets as one of the first firms of its kind to receive this license.

GSR will now be able to provide offerings related to “digital payment tokens,” the name authorities have designated for cryptocurrencies. This license allows the market maker to offer spot over-the-counter and market-making services in accordance with Singapore’s regulatory framework.

GSR Group CEO Jakob Palmstierna said in the official release:

We are proud to receive the MPI license from MAS, a regulator that promotes sustainable non-inflationary economic growth, and a sound and progressive financial center.

In general, liquidity providers and market makers are not considered licensed entities in Singapore. This is because these entities are not customer-facing, meaning they don’t directly engage with retail users.

However, Singaporean regulators amended the Payment Services Act (PS Act) in 2021,  expanding the scope of the framework to regulate more services such as custody and cross-border remittance. The changes were expected to be implemented in the fourth quarter of 2021 but ended up going live on April 2.

Singapore has been taking proactive steps in recent times to both strengthen and regulate its booming crypto economy. Last month, the MAS offered crypto exchange Bitstamp a provisional crypto license, making it the first crypto exchange with a European presence to win this authorization. 

Meanwhile, according to Coinbase, more than half of the financially informed people in Singapore, about 57%, have invested in cryptocurrencies. Coinbase’s study noted a high interest among users in staking services. Nearly 55% of the participants were reportedly engaged in staking via centralized exchanges.

Furthermore, other research revealed an uptick in interest in Bitcoin following the approval of multiple ETF products in the United States. 39% of Singaporeans are now bullish on Bitcoin, and more than 50% were already aware of the newly launched Bitcoin ETF products.


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