Upbit Wins Preliminary Approval for MPI-License in Singapore

The Monetary Authority of Singapore granted Upbit an in-principle approval for a Major Payment Institution license.

Upbit team holding up an Upbit sign in a digital landscape.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • Cryptocurrency exchange Upbit has obtained a trading license in Singapore.
  • The favorable regulatory framework in Singapore has attracted multiple cryptocurrency companies throughout the year.  
  • The exchange still awaits the full institutional license from the regulatory body.

2023 has witnessed Singapore’s progressive commitment to fostering innovation within the cryptocurrency industry. The nation’s proactive approach to enacting favorable legislation has drawn global crypto exchanges to its shores, making it a thriving hub for the growing industry.

Joining the ranks of regulated digital exchanges in the region is South Korea’s largest crypto exchange, Upbit, as it received license approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). 

Upbit’s Approval In Singapore

On October 16th, Upbit Singapore announced the acquisition of in-principle approval for its Major Payment Institution (MPI) license from the MAS.

The approval will allow Upbit to maintain its provision of regulated listing and trading of digital token assets to professional investors within Singapore, ensuring compliance with the region’s Payment Services Act of 2019. 

The exchange’s current operations will be restricted to the services permitted under the preliminary approval while it awaits the acquisition of the full MPI license granted to qualified payment service providers. 

Upon acquiring the full MPI license, Upbit will provide a wider range of crypto asset offerings, direct banking services, and storage wallets, placing it among the 15 licensed crypto firms in Singapore.

Founder and CEO of Upbit, Alex Kim, emphasized the significance of the approval, stating, “Since 2018, we have been building solid foundations for a robust digital asset business in Singapore, the leading financial hub in Asia.” 

Kim asserts that the license represents a strategic milestone for the exchange to strengthen its presence in Singapore and reiterates its commitment to building a trusted digital asset business through collaboration with regulators.

Singapore’s Regulatory Framework

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has gained international acclaim for its high regulatory standards within the digital asset industry. 

On August 15th, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) revealed an innovative regulatory framework to enforce stability within the region’s cryptocurrency industry. The MAS added the Singaporean government’s plans to allocate $112 million to firms operating within the region’s fintech sector, including crypto-related establishments.

The regulatory body also issued full payment institution licenses to Coinbase and Ripple Labs in October, further boosting the expansion of digital payment services within Singapore.

On the Flipside

  • Upbit recently bolstered its security protocols after revealing that it had been subject to 159,000 attacks in the first half of 2023.
  • The full Major Payment Institution license acquisition will position Upbit Singapore as the newest addition to Upbit APAC, a global digital asset group comprising digital asset exchanges within the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Digital asset banking institution Sygnum Bank also received full license approval from MAS.

Why This Matters

Upbit’s in-principle license approval by the MAS underscores Singapore’s commitment to creating an environment where innovation thrives and compliance is paramount. 

To discover more on Singapore’s favorable regulatory framework for cryptocurrency exchanges, read here:
MAS Finalises Stablecoin Regulations for Future-Ready

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This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Grace Abidemi

Grace Abidemi, a cryptocurrency reporter at DailyCoin, covers industry developments and trends. She previously worked as a freelance writer. With a Bachelor's degree in German Language and certifications in marketing and storytelling, Grace creates engaging content. When not working, she's in Nigeria, mastering cooking and canvas painting, and enjoys learning about different cultures and languages.