Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform Coinhako announced on Tuesday, 16 November that it has been issued an in-principle approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to provide local digital payment token (DPT) services under the Payment Services Act (PSA).
The announcement makes Coinhako the first homegrown, non-bank crypto exchange to receive in-principle approval.
“Coinhako recognised very early on that the industry would move towards regulation and the team has worked very hard over the years to ensure that the business is developed in a compliant manner,” said Collin Cheong, Coinhako’s Corporate Development Director.
“The receipt of the in-principle approval is a wonderful affirmation of the team’s efforts till date.”
Taking effect in January 2020, the PSA is a law that consolidated and updated various payments-related legislation in Singapore. It introduced new licensable activities, including the sale and purchase of digital payment tokens, which covers cryptocurrencies like BitCoin and Ethereum, and allowed platforms like Coinhako to facilitate exchanges.
Coinhako noted that it’s presently working hard to meet the MAS requirements to receive the Major Payment Institution Licence needed to provide DPT services in Singapore.
“Singapore has always been at the forefront of fintech innovation,” said Yusho Liu, Co-founder & CEO of Coinhako. “The regulation of DPTs under the Payment Services Act is a clear indication of our nation’s readiness to nurture innovations in the digital assets and cryptocurrency space while balancing the need to protect consumer and social interests.”
Mr Liu's comment comes amid the cryptocurrency market posing strong growth numbers. Last Tuesday, 9 November, the crypto market cap hit US$3 trillion, the highest it's ever been, signalling that investor confidence and the adoption of blockchain technology is steadily improving. In line with this, up to 45% of consumers in the Asia Pacific region are considering using digital currency within the next year, according to a survey conducted by Mastercard, which recently launched crypto-linked credit cards.
“This will not only add to the growth of Singapore as a crypto-financial hub but also allow retail traders and institutions to better identify which institutions are able to meet their digital asset needs,” added Mr Liu.
Coinhako is a digital assets wallet provider that offers both fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto trading services. It was founded in 2014 by industry experts Yusho Liu and Gerry Eng. The platform now has over 300,000 registered users in Singapore and an average of 150,000 monthly active users
The company last month also launched Coinhako Privé, a separate digital assets platform dedicated to high-net-worth individuals and institutions. It also recently hosted an NFT exhibit, showcasing artworks from Beeple and Andy Warhol, among other crypto artists.