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OKX Granted In-Principle Approval for Singapore Payment Licence

kokou adzo

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In a significant development for the cryptocurrency industry, OKX, one of the leading digital asset exchanges, has received in-principle approval for a payment institution licence in Singapore.

Overview

According to a Major Payment Institution (MPI), companies can facilitate multiple payment services exceeding the volume limitations set for payment firms. This landmark decision marks a vital step forward for OKX and the broader cryptocurrency industry in gaining legitimacy and regulatory acceptance. This approval underscores Singapore’s progressive stance towards embracing digital currencies and fostering innovation within the fintech sector. It reflects the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) commitment to promoting a conducive regulatory environment while ensuring robust consumer protection measures. The country’s principal financial regulator, MAS, issued the MPI licence.

The full licence from MAS means that OKX will be allowed to provide digital payment token services and cross-border transfers in the country. OKX president Hong Fang mentioned that Singapore attracts entrepreneurs who are venturing into new markets. Fang said, “Singapore was always a priority for the exchange regarding its global strategy. It’s a market of early adopters who are well-versed in technology.” President Fang suggested that Singapore’s regulatory framework be clear and thoughtful, allowing for better long-term businesses to be built. Fang added, “OKX will work on bringing local banking connections to its customers and expand its offerings.” With the new milestone, Fang highlighted that the company would focus on its spot product in the country.

Implications for OKX and the Cryptocurrency Industry

The in-principle approval for a payment institution licence is pivotal for OKX, positioning the exchange as a trusted and regulated entity within the Singaporean market. Experts at Bitcoin Apex Official mentioned that the approval comes after OKX secured a licence from Dubai’s crypto regulator on January 16 2024. OKX’s general manager for the Middle East and North Africa region, Rifad Mahasneh, revealed that the company is working to complete the requirements and expects the licence to be operational in a few months and available to retail and institutional users. Mahasneh said, “Once operational, OKX Middle East will be allowed to offer regulated VASP services, including spot and fiat trading services, AED deposits and withdrawals, and spot trading pairs.”

By obtaining this licence, OKX gains access to a broader range of financial services, including facilitating fiat currency transactions and offering payment solutions to customers.

Moreover, this approval enhances OKX’s credibility and trustworthiness among investors and users. It demonstrates the exchange’s commitment to compliance and regulatory adherence, mitigating concerns regarding uncertainties often associated with the crypto industry. Furthermore, OKX’s success in obtaining a payment institution licence sets a positive precedent for other crypto exchanges and blockchain-based companies seeking regulatory approval. It highlights the growing acceptance of digital assets by traditional financial institutions and regulators, paving the way for greater mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Future Outlook and Potential Impact

Looking ahead, OKX’s acquisition of a payment institution licence in Singapore opens new avenues for expansion and innovation. With regulatory clarity and oversight, the exchange can explore opportunities to launch innovative financial products and services tailored to the needs of its customers. Additionally, OKX’s presence in Singapore strengthens the city-state’s position as a global fintech and blockchain development hub.

By attracting reputable crypto exchanges like OKX, Singapore solidifies its reputation as a forward-thinking jurisdiction that embraces technological innovation while upholding strict regulatory standards. The approval of OKX’s payment institution licence also bodes well for the broader crypto industry’s regulatory landscape. It demonstrates regulators’ willingness to engage with blockchain-based businesses and work towards establishing clear regulatory frameworks that balance innovation with investor protection. Apart from OKX, BitGo, a crypto custody business, received in-principle approval from MAS. On January 10 2024, BitGo announced that it received the initial nod, subject to completing further requirements set by the regulator.

OKX’s in-principle approval for a payment institution licence in Singapore marks a significant milestone for the exchange and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole. It signals the maturation of the digital asset market and paves the way for greater institutional adoption and mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrencies. As OKX continues to expand its operations and services under regulatory oversight, it sets a positive example for other industry players. It reinforces Singapore’s position as a leading fintech hub in the global arena.

 

Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of Startup.info. He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at Startup.info.

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