25 April, 2024

Stablecoin Issuer Circle Gains Regulatory Approval in Singapore

02 Nov, 2022

22 Nov, 2023

The global digital financial technology firm and issuer of USD Coin (USDC), Circle Internet Financial, has received in-principle approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore as a major payments institution licence holder (MAS).

With this in-principle approval, Circle will be able to offer digital payment token products, as well as cross-border and domestic transfer services, in the city-state, ushering in a new generation of financial services and commerce applications.

Circle announced the approvals on November 2, just a week after the MAS issued two consultation papers outlining proposals for regulating digital payment token service providers and stablecoin issuers under Singapore’s Payment Services Act (PSA).

The Singapore Parliament passed the PSA in 2019, which purports to regulate payment systems and authorises the MAS to monitor the activities of payment service providers.

The creators of USD Coin (UDSC) will now be able to sell their stablecoin and other digital payment tokens in Singapore.

“This milestone enables us to work with all relevant stakeholders and demonstrate the potential of digital currencies, open payment systems and innovation-forward fintech regulations to drive economic growth and strengthen Singapore’s position as a global hub for digital assets,” said Dante Disparte, Circle’s Chief Strategy Officer and Global Head of Public Policy.

Circle previously identified Singapore as its primary Asian hub, and it continues to hire in the city-state to service its expanding regional business.

Co-founder and CEO of Circle Jeremy Allaire pointed out that the license “in one of the world’s leading financial hubs” will be “instrumental to Circle’s regional and global expansion plans in raising global economic prosperity.”

Singapore is struggling to reclaim its reputation as a crypto-friendly country, with chief fintech Sopnendu Mohanty stating that MAS will be “brutal and unrelentingly hard” on “bad behaviour” in the crypto industry. The MAS expressed concern in a set of consultation papers that many retail customers may “not have sufficient knowledge of the risks of trading.”

It remains cautious for retail investors, with Singapore’s largest bank, DBS, recently deciding to limit its crypto trading services to accredited investors who meet strict criteria.


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