Upbit, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea, has secured a Major Payment Institution license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). 

The license, which was officially granted to Upbit Singapore, allows the exchange to offer regulated digital payment token services in the Lion City, under the city-state’s Payment Services Act.

Before this full licensing, Upbit received an in-principle approval from Singapore’s central bank last October, which permitted its continued operation while the full licensing process was underway. Upbit and 15 other crypto entities, including USDC stablecoin issuer Circle and the largest U.S.-based exchange Coinbase, have now obtained the MPI license for digital payment token services in Singapore. 

Singapore has been promoting itself as a global crypto hub, prioritizing technological advancements such as tokenized assets and programmable money over “speculating in cryptocurrencies.” Its regulatory clarity has been attracting some of the largest exchanges into the country, Hassan Ahmed, Coinbase’s Singapore country director, told Forkast in an earlier interview. 

Regulatory scrutiny against cryptocurrencies has intensified globally since major events such as the Terra-Luna crash and the FTX fiasco. However, the ability of exchanges like Upbit to secure full licensing in jurisdictions with advanced regulatory frameworks is a positive step forward for the industry.