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The Monetary Authority of Singapore has given a digital currency exchange its first license in principle under the new licensing regime, making it the first exchange in the country to trade as a fully regulated virtual asset service provider.

Exchange of digital currencies in Australia Under the rules of the Payment Services Act, which was signed into law in January 2020, Independent Reserve acquired regulatory approval. The Act spells out the rules governing the regulation of digital currency exchanges and the requirements for companies wishing to operate as exchanges in the country.

In a letter to the exchange this week, the MAS, which serves as the country’s de facto central bank, granted the go light. Exchanges have been allowed to function under an exemption since the law in January 2020, awaiting successful license applications under the new regime.

Independent Reserve has received approval for a Major Payment Institution Licence, allowing the exchange to offer Digital Payment Token Services. This entails putting in place proper consumer protections as well as adhering to relevant anti-money laundering legislation, such as the controversial “travel rule.”

CEO Adrian Przelozny said the company chose Singapore because the licensing structure gives predictability for us as industry participants and security for our consumers.

Singapore is said to have benefited from political unrest in Hong Kong, exacerbated by Beijing’s increasingly antagonistic attitude. According to the local press, this has helped Singapore establish itself as a regional center for the emerging digital currency business in tandem with its favorable licensing environment.

With the initial approval now in place, it is expected that more companies will follow Independent Reserve’s lead in gaining regulatory approval.

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