CEO Morning Brief

Singapore Licenses Crypto Market Maker GSR in Rare Step for Industry

Publish date: Fri, 05 Apr 2024, 09:23 AM
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TheEdge CEO Morning Brief

(April 4): Singapore authorities awarded a licence to crypto market maker GSR Markets, a rare step in the digital-asset sector where liquidity providers globally still largely operate without regulatory permits.

The company is one of the first of its kind to be granted a Major Payment Institution license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Xin Song, chief executive officer of GSR Singapore, said in a statement on Thursday.

The licence will allow the firm to carry out its spot over-the-counter and market making services within the city-state’s regulatory framework. GSR had received an in-principle approval from MAS in September.

Singapore is taking steps to make it easier for financial institutions to experiment with blockchain technology as part of plans to build out a digital-asset hub. Already established as a centre for finance, the city-state hopes to attract potential disruptors, such as virtual-asset firms, and is competing with the likes of Hong Kong and Japan to lure them.

At the same time, authorities have sought to curb speculative crypto bets by mass-market retail investors after blowups in the sector during the 2022 bear market.

Earlier this week, Singapore widened the scope of its digital-asset regulation to custody, as well as to all firms handling crypto-related fund transfers regardless of whether they come into possession of the money or tokens.

Market makers such as GSR are enjoying a renaissance courtesy of a roughly fourfold surge in Bitcoin since the start of 2023, which has catalysed a wider rebound in the crypto market and reignited investor demand for digital assets.

Source: TheEdge - 5 Apr 2024

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