Ripple Obtains In-Principle Approval for Major Payments Institution License in Singapore

Authorities in Singapore have awarded 190 Major Payment Institution Licenses, with 11 going to Digital Payment Token companies.

AccessTimeIconJun 22, 2023 at 2:08 a.m. UTC
Updated Jun 22, 2023 at 1:33 p.m. UTC
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Ripple announced today that it has obtained in-principle approval for a Major Payments Institution License from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the nation’s central bank and regulator.

Ripple said that the license will allow its Singapore branch to offer regulated digital payment token products and services as well as further scale its customers' use of its crypto-enabled On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) platform – which saw a 5x growth in the country year-on-year.

“We're pleased that Singapore has taken a forward-looking approach to how to regulate digital assets,” Stu Alderoty, Chief Legal Officer of Ripple, said in an interview with CoinDesk. “With their licensing framework, they have figured out how to create a clear taxonomy for digital assets, balancing the need to protect consumers’ interests and the need to protect the integrity of the markets, while doing so in a way that promotes innovation and investment.”

Ripple said that its Singapore office saw a 50% year-on-year increase in headcount, amounting to 50 full-time staff, hiring across key functions such as business development, compliance, finance, legal, and sales as it ramps up its presence in the country.

A big part of the ramp-up, Alderoty explained, is because Ripple can access the growing licensed digital assets market that’s blooming in the country.

“I think they're attracting responsible actors,” he said. “With this license, we are in company with the likes of Coinbase, Circle, and others that have real businesses, real products and have the wherewithal to play by the rules once the rules are set forth clearly.”

So far, MAS has approved 190 Major Payment Institution licenses and 11 Digital Payment Token Service licenses.

Local media report that MAS has received more than 680 applications for payment services licenses since January 2020, with 17 being rejected and 214 applications withdrawn. Binance withdrew from Singapore and canceled its application for a Digital Payments Token license in December 2021.

Edited by James Rubin.

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