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MAS gives green light to DBS Vickers and Independent Reserve for crypto licences in S’pore

dbs independent reserve

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has awarded Major Payment Institution licences to DBS Vickers (DBSV), a brokerage arm of DBS Bank, as well as Australia-based crypto exchange Independent Reserve, to provide digital payment token services here.

MAS has received 170 licence applications from digital payment token service providers including global crypto exchanges such as Coinbase and Kraken. 30 applications were withdrawn after engagement with MAS and two have been rejected.

Licence applicants were subject to an examination by MAS to review its policies and procedures regarding customer protection mechanisms, transaction screening, and compliance structures, as well as the robustness of its information technology services.

The first licence was issued to Singapore fintech firm Fomo Pay last month.

Now, DBS Bank is the first bank to obtain a Singapore licence to offer digital payment token services, while Independent Reserve is the first foreign entity to be granted one.

This license approval means that DBSV, as a member of DBS Digital Exchange (DDeX), will be able to directly support asset managers and companies to trade in digital payment tokens through DDeX.

dbs eng kwok seat moey
DBS’ Eng-Kwok Seat Moey / Image Credit: DBS

“Having received formal regulatory approval from MAS, DBSV is now in a better position to support institutional and corporate investors in tapping into the growing potential of digital assets as an investment class. This marks another significant milestone in our ability to provide integrated solutions across the digital asset value chain, from deal origination to tokenisation, listing, trading and custody,” said Eng-Kwok Seat Moey, Head of Capital Markets at DBS and Chair of the DBS DDeX.

“We believe that DBSV’s licence, coupled with recent enhancements to DDEx such as round the-clock operations since August, could add to DDEx’s volumes in the coming months and accelerate growth momentum for DBS’ digital asset ecosystem.”

Since its launch last December as a members-only bourse, DDEx has seen good demand from clients, including corporate and institutional investors, accredited individuals, and family offices.

It expects to double the number of participants on DDEx to 1,000 and to grow its base by 20 to 30 per cent annually for the next three years as investments in digital tokens gain greater acceptance.

Independent Reserve one of the first VSAPs to get license under PSA

Following the license approval, Independent Reserve will operate as a regulated provider for Digital Payment Token Services, and is one of the first virtual asset service providers to obtain full licensure approval under the Payment Services Act in Singapore.

CEO Adrian Przelozny said that Singapore’s well-regulated environment would thoroughly address investor protection concerns including the safe custody of assets, KYC requirements, and market manipulation, making it easier to provide cryptocurrency services to financial institutions that wish to trade digital assets.

A well-regulated environment will benefit both investors and crypto industry stakeholders. With tailormade rules for the crypto industry, Singapore currently has the clearest and most detailed licensing requirements of any jurisdiction in Asia.

And now, Independent Reserve is one of the first fully licensed crypto exchanges available to the Singapore population, enabling them to quickly and securely use their SGD to get in and out of crypto. Independent Reserve offers trust, world-class security and deep global liquidity, and now our doors are wide open to other businesses that are looking for a gateway into crypto.

– Adrian Przelozny, CEO of Independent Reserve

Established in Australia in 2013, Independent Reserve embarked on its international expansion plans in late 2019, setting up its first overseas operations in Singapore to provide digital asset exchange and OTC trading services to people and institutions. 

Independent Reserve provides SGD, AUD, USD and NZD fiat-to-crypto trading pairs. This is a major step forward for individuals and companies in Singapore that are looking for an easy and trusted onramp into cryptocurrency.

It had received an “in-principle approval” from MAS in August and since then, the company has seen an influx of retail and institutional investors.

Featured Image Credit: DBS Bank / Independent Reserve

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