The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today granted licenses to DBS Vickers (DBSV), the brokerage arm of DBS Bank, and Independent Reserve, an Australian cryptocurrency exchange, to provide digital payment token services under the Payment Services Act (PS Act).

Fast facts

  • Formal approval from MAS, which follows its earlier “in-principal approval” granted to both companies in August, allows DBSV and Independent Reserve to provide cryptocurrency trading services in the country, and puts them among the first few companies to have received such a license. Last month, FOMO Pay, a Singapore-based fintech, became the first company to receive the license.
  • In a statement, DBS said the license will enable DBSV to directly support institutional and corporate investors to invest and trade in digital assets through the DBS Digital Exchange (DDEx). “This marks another significant milestone in our ability to provide integrated solutions across the digital asset value chain, from deal origination to tokenization, listing, trading and custody,” said Eng-Kwok Seat Moey, head of capital markets at DBS and chair of the DBS Digital Exchange, in a statement. “We believe that DBSV’s license, coupled with recent enhancements to DDEx such as round-the-clock operations since August, could add to DDEx’s volumes in the coming months and accelerate growth momentum for DBS’ digital asset ecosystem.”
  • DBS, which launched its accredited members-only digital exchange in December 2020, expects to double the number of investors on the DDEx to 1,000 and to grow its base by 20% to 30% annually for the next three years.
  • As for Australian crypto exchange Independent Reserve, its license marks the first granted to a foreign entity in Singapore to provide digital payment token services. Independent Reserve was also granted licenses to provide account issuance, domestic money transfer service and cross-border money transfer services.
  • “A well-regulated environment will benefit both investors and crypto industry stakeholders,” said Adrian Przelozny, Independent Reserve CEO, in a statement. “With tailor-made rules for the crypto industry, Singapore currently has the clearest and most detailed licensing requirements of any jurisdiction in Asia.” Founded in Australia in 2013, Independent Reserve set up its first overseas operations in Singapore in 2019 to provide crypto exchange and over-the-counter trading services.
  • Under Singapore’s PS Act 2019, providers of digital token payment services — including cryptocurrency exchanges — must be licensed. According to the MAS, 170 license applications by digital payment token service providers have been submitted. Cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance Singapore, Coinbase and Gemini currently operate in Singapore under an exemption as part of transitional arrangements. The exemption allows entities to provide services while their license applications are being processed.