Stablecoin issuers Circle and Paxos gain approvals in Singapore


Stablecoin issuers Circle and Paxos have each received approvals for their respective licenses from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the city-state’s central bank.

Circle received in-principle approval for a Major Payments Institution License allowing it to issue cryptocurrencies and facilitate domestic and cross-border payments while Paxos received its license to offer digital payment token services.

Circle and Paxos both announced their approvals on Nov. 2, which came a week after the MAS issued two consultation papers on proposals for regulating digital payment token service providers and stablecoin issuers under Singapore’s Payment Services Act (PSA).

The PSA was passed by the Singapore Parliament in 2019, which purports to regulate payment systems and authorizes MAS to oversee the conduct of payment service providers.

Circle, the issuer behind USD Coin (UDSC), and Paxos with its Pax Dollar (USDP), both U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoins will now be able to offer their respective stablecoins and other digital payment token products within Singapore.

According to Dante Disparte, Circle’s Chief Strategy Officer and Global Head of Public Polic, its approval is set to open up greater potential for cryptocurrencies and open payment systems to drive economic growth in Singapore under the more innovative-friendly regulatory framework.

Co-founder and CEO of Circle Jeremy Allaire added the license “in one of the world’s leading financial hubs” will be “instrumental to Circle’s regional and global expansion plans in raising global economic prosperity.”

Paxos Asia CEO Rich Teo was also thrilled with its approval:

“We’re excited to have MAS as our regulator, and with their oversight, we’ll be able to safely accelerate consumer adoption of digital assets globally in partnership with the world’s biggest enterprises.”

Related: Singapore MAS examines crypto firms ahead of new regulations: Report

While it remains to be seen how many more firms will follow Circle and Paxos’ footsteps, the easing in regulations comes as MAS knocked back over 100 out of 170 applicants in late 2021 under the tighter regime.

MAS took things one step further in mid-2022 following the now saga that stemmed from Singapore-based and bankrupt Three Arrows Capital’s (3AC), with chief fintech Sopnendu Mohanty stating that MAS will be “brutal and unrelentingly hard” on “bad behavior” from the crypto industry.

Singapore is fighting to take back its perception to be one of the more crypto-friendly countries. However, it continues to tread with caution for retail investors — with Singapore’s largest bank DBS recently deciding to only expand its crypto trading services to accredited investors who meet strict criteria.

Cointelegraph reached out to Circle and Paxos for comment but did not receive an immediate response.