Circle Internet Financial Ltd., based in the United States and the issuer of the USDC stablecoin, which has a market capitalization of more than US$43 billion, announced that it had received preliminary permission to offer digital payment token products and other offerings in Singapore.
The authorization is for a Major Payments Institution License bestowed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the city-central state's bank. The company will also be able to offer cross-border and domestic services for money transfer in Singapore, according to a statement emailed to Forkast.
MAS has recently speeded up crypto service provider authorizations while toughening regulations as it strives to become Asia's "responsible" hub for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. Paxos, the company behind the USDP stablecoin, also recently announced that it had been granted a license to continue operating in Singapore.
The actions come as Hong Kong, Singapore's traditional Asian rival for financial services, revealed a series of policies this week aimed at attracting digital asset investment.
In October alone, Singapore approved in-principle approvals to Coinbase, the largest US cryptocurrency exchange, and Blockchain.com, another exchange. Following the central bank's statements that crypto trading is too risky for non-professional investors, both firms stated that they would focus on institutional and corporate clients in Singapore.
Circle initially demonstrated Singapore as its primary Asian hub and stated that it would continue to hire in the city-state for its expanding regional business.
It also bills itself as a global financial technology company that helps businesses use virtual currencies and public blockchains for payments, commerce, and financial applications. Its board of directors includes representatives from Goldman Sachs, Ernst & Young, and UBS.
The company also issues the EUROC stablecoin, which is backed by the Euro, in addition to the USDC stablecoin.
Disparte and Allaire will speak about the viability and viewpoint for digital assets at the Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) on November 2-4. The Monetary Authority of Singapore, in partnership with the Association of Banks in Singapore, is organizing the 7th edition of SFF, the first in-person since 2019.
It coincides with the Hong Kong Fintech Week, highlighting the competition between the two financial institutions to become Asia's leader in blockchain, cryptocurrency, and other digital asset investment and innovation.
Do you think more companies will seek licenses to operate in Singapore? Let us know your thoughts by sharing this article on social media.