South Korea-based Upbit cryptocurrency exchange’s Singapore unit said on Monday that it received an in-principal approval for the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) major payment institution license. 

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Fast Facts

  • The in-principal approval allows Upbit to legally offer digital asset services in the country until the central bank gives its final approval.
  • Upbit is South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange and is operated by one of the nation’s most valued startups, Dunamu. 
  • Upbit Singapore’s in-principal license further expands Dunamu’s Asia Pacific presence. The exchange claims to have legal branches in Indonesia and Thailand. 
  • Singapore’s major payment institution license permits institutions to offer payment services without adherence to the standard transaction volume. Typically, providers are constrained by a SG$3 million (US$2.2 million) limit for monthly transactions per service, and SG$6 million for multiple services, with a daily outstanding e-money cap of SG$5 million, according to the MAS.
  • Coinbase, the largest U.S. exchange, received a major payment institution license from Singapore’s central bank at the beginning of October, a year after it was awarded an in-principal approval. There are currently 15 fully licensed digital payment token service providers in Singapore, according to the central bank’s website

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