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Singapore Grants More Crypto Licenses

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Genesis and Sparrow Tech are the latest recipients of in-principal approvals in Singapore for dealing in digital payment tokens (DPTs), which is what the regulator calls cryptocurrencies.

The two companies, the former a US-headquartered digital broker in cryptocurrencies and the latter a Singapore-headquartered digital solutions firm that was established in 2018, received the approval Wednesday, along with crypto bourse, which is headquartered in the city-state.

Read more: Following Job Cuts, Wins In-Principal License in Singapore

This brings the total numbers of licenses and in-principle approvals awarded by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to 14 in the past two years. MAS has received 196 applications for crypto licenses, 74 of which have been withdrawn and three rejected, according to The Straits Times.

Singapore is seeking to position itself as a global crypto hub, but is also wary of the risk that emerging technologies such as cryptocurrencies can pose. Multiple cryptocurrency exchanges have relocated to Singapore in recent months, but only a handful have succeeded in obtaining a digital payment token (DPT) license from the MAS.

Read more: MAS Defends Strict Crypto Licensing Regime as it Hands Out 2 More In-Principle Approvals

“Crypto assets have more recently been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. This, however, does not reflect where the greatest value of blockchain and digital assets lies, much of which is away from the retail glare,” Heng Swee Keat, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, said at the at the opening of Point Zero Forum in Zurich, Switzerland on Wednesday.

He reiterated the regulator’s stance that cryptocurrencies are unsuitable for retail investment, and said the country hopes to “[encourage] the upsides” – using blockchain technology to improve efficiencies, accessibility and affordability of cross-border transactions – while minimizing the downsides” of Web 3.0.