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We're In Support of MAS's Web3 Support

MAS funds Web3, Singapore Red Cross accepts crypto, PayPal launches stablecoin, Huobi execs arrested (or were they?), Hong Kong issues warnings, Valkyrie adds Ethereum ETF, and OKX leverages on Stephen Chow for AI

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Despite giving the cold shoulder to the Web3 scene last year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has changed its tune significantly over the past few months.

In June, MAS granted Ripple an In-Principle Approval (IPA) for a Major Payment Institution (MPI) and greenlit Crypto.com's application for an MPI. Most recently, Blockchain.com was granted an MPI too.

Blockchain.com Wins Major Payment License From MAS
Blockchain.com’s new Major Payment Institution (MPI) license allows it to offer regulated digital payment token services to its global institutional and accredited investor customers

It's not just licences that MAS are dishing out either. According to reports, MAS has launched a S$150 million technology and innovation fund, declaring its support for Web3.

The announcement comes just one month ahead of the highly anticipated Token2049 event in Singapore, which brings together crypto industry leaders from around the world.

Winklevoss Twins, F1 Stars Join Speaker Circuit at TOKEN2049
Clear your calendar, crypto-curious! TOKEN2049 is offering an opportunity to glimpse the future through the eyes of those scripting it. Get ready to tune in, turn on, and geek out.

Whilst MAS's fund is certainly appreciated by the space, its message is even more encouraging for the industry. MAS's supportive stance is already trickling down into aspects of Singapore's wider society.

On Monday, Singapore Red Cross announced it will be accepting cryptocurrencies for donations. Partnering with Triple-A, the community charity will accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether and USDC via its website.

Received crypto donations will be converted into fiat currency and then transferred to Singapore Red Cross's account within a day. Its initaitve is to attract tech-savvy donors for its humanitarian efforts.

Other Singaporean charities accepting crypto donations include The Food Bank Singapore, Daughters of Tomorrow, and Cycling Without Age.

As MAS widens its crypto acceptance, we expect to see crypto spreading further across Singapore's ecosystem.

Elsewhere:

  • PayPal's Stablecoin: PayPal has introduced a stablecoin called PayPal USD. Backed by US dollar deposits and US Treasuries, PayPal USD aims to provide stability amid crypto's volatility. PayPal's stablecoin will be issued by Paxos Trust Co and will gradually become available to PayPal customers in the US. News of the stablecoin sent PayPal's stock price up 2.66%.
  • Huobi Arrests Trigger Reserve Drop: Huobi has been facing a 33% decline in its stablecoin exchange balances over the past week with traders withdrawing $49 million. The drop comes as Huobi's executives were reportedly arrested by Chinese police. Huobi has denied the claims. Its current balance is $2.5 billion, down from $3.1 billion earlier this year.
  • A Hong Kong Warning: Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has issued a warning about unlicensed cryptocurrency platforms involved in improper practices. The warning targets both investors and unlicensed platforms. SFC warns that some platforms falsely claim to have applied for SFC approval whilst circumventing regulatory requirements. Only two licensed crypto exchanges, HashKey and OSL Exchange, are officially listed by the SFC.
  • Valkyrie's ETH ETF: Valkyrie is altering its existing Bitcoin futures ETF to incorporate Ethereum future contacts. The move is intended to plosition Valkyrie ahead of its competitors in being granted approval from the SEC. Valkyrie's filed date is 3 October 2023, which is two weeks ahead of its competitors' launch. BlackRock, WisdomTre and Invesco are among those that have submitted Bitcoin ETF proposals. However, the SEC can choose to adhere to filing dates on their own accord, making Valkyrie's timing uncertain.
  • OKX Goes AI With Stephen Chow: OKX's investment arm, OKX Ventures has invested $1 million in Hong Kong-based AI startup Moonbox. Moonbox merges Web3 and AI by using licenses from Stephen Chow's films to create AI-powered NFTs and applications. OKX's investment is aimed to accelerate Moonbox's product growth and technology development, leveraging blockchain technology and the creator economy.
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