Upbit Singapore Acquires Major Payment Institution License

Key Insights:

  • Upbit gains MPI license in Singapore, joining elite crypto exchanges in a regulated, secure marketplace.
  • Singapore’s MAS grants Upbit MPI license, ensuring strict compliance and robust cybersecurity in crypto transactions.
  • Upbit’s MPI license win in Singapore marks a strategic expansion, enhancing its global crypto services footprint.

In a notable advancement for the cryptocurrency sector, Upbit, a leading South Korean crypto exchange, has successfully obtained a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). This significant achievement enables Upbit Singapore to offer a comprehensive range of regulated digital payment token services, fortifying its position in the rapidly evolving crypto landscape.

Adherence to Strict Regulatory Standards

The journey to this milestone began with Upbit receiving an in-principle approval from MAS in October 2023. This crucial step allowed Upbit to maintain its operations while working towards full licensing compliance. With the MPI license now secured, Upbit aligns itself with other esteemed crypto platforms, such as Coinbase and Crypto.com, which have previously navigated Singapore’s stringent regulatory framework to obtain similar licenses.

The MAS’s licensing process is known for its rigorous standards, particularly concerning anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing. Additionally, licensed firms must demonstrate robust cybersecurity measures to ensure the security of their operations. Upbit has committed to providing secure and reliable crypto transaction services by meeting these stringent requirements.

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Expansion of Services and Trade Volume Growth

This new license empowers Upbit to expand its service offerings in Singapore, encompassing digital payment token exchange, custody, and remittance services. The ability to forge partnerships with local financial institutions and payment providers is now within reach, setting the stage for innovative collaborations. Upbit recently recorded a daily trading volume surpassing $8 billion, highlighting its growing impact in the global cryptocurrency market.

Singapore’s Proactive Regulatory Approach

Singapore has been at the forefront of embracing digital innovation, particularly in the cryptocurrency space. The country’s Payment Services Act (PSA) of 2019 laid the groundwork for a transparent legal and regulatory framework for crypto businesses, regulating cryptocurrencies under digital payment tokens. The MAS’s approach to licensing crypto firms reflects a balanced stance, fostering innovation while ensuring security and compliance.

In November 2023, MAS implemented additional measures for digital payment token service providers. These measures aim to mitigate speculative investments in cryptocurrencies, prohibiting practices such as offering financing, margin, or leveraged transactions for crypto trades. They also restrict the use of credit cards for purchasing cryptocurrencies and exclude crypto holdings from being counted towards customers’ net worth by banking institutions.

Singapore’s Growing Status as a Crypto Hub

The acquisition of the MPI license by Upbit Singapore signifies more than just a regulatory compliance achievement. It marks Singapore’s growing reputation as a global hub for cryptocurrency activity. The country’s proactive and well-defined regulatory environment makes it an attractive destination for crypto enterprises seeking to operate within a secure and regulated framework.

Since its establishment in Singapore in 2018, Upbit has shown a keen interest in catering to the local market, particularly focusing on the institutional segment and infrastructure projects. The MPI license allows Upbit to provide crypto- and fiat-related services without the constraints of transaction and monthly limits, thereby enhancing their operational flexibility.

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