Singapore’s cryptocurrency platform Coinhako announced today (November 16) that it has been issued an in-principle approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to provide digital payment token (DPT) services under the Payment Services Act (PSA) as a major payment institution.
This makes Coinhako the first local non-bank crypto exchange to receive this approval.
Collin Cheong, Corporate Development Director of Coinhako, said that the team has worked hard over the years to ensure that the business is developed in a compliant manner and the receipt of the in-principle approval serves as an affirmation of the team’s efforts till date.
It is now working hard “over the coming weeks” to meet MAS’ requirements to receive the Major Payment Institution licence to provide DPT services in Singapore.
This licence is required for providers that wish to conduct the sale and purchase of DPTs (including cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin), or operate a platform that enable persons to exchange DPTs.
“Singapore has always been at the forefront of fintech innovation. The regulation of DPTs under the Payment Services Act is a clear indication of our nation’s readiness to nurture innovations in the digital assets and cryptocurrency space while balancing the need to protect consumer and social interests,” added Yusho Liu, co-founder and CEO of Coinhako.
“This will not only add to the growth of Singapore as a crypto financial hub, but also allow retail traders and institutions to better identify which institutions are able to meet their digital asset needs.”
Riding on the booming crypto market
Founded in 2014, Coinhako offers both fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto trading services with a digital wallet for traders to store their digital assets easily and safely.
Headquartered in Singapore, the firm is backed by prominent investors such as Tim Draper and Josh Jones as well as established venture capital firms such as Boost VC.
Coinhako has grown tremendously since inception. In the first eight months of 2021, Coinhako has seen a 1,000 per cent increase in trading volume, compared to the whole of 2020.
Currently, it has over 300,000 registered users in Singapore and an average of 150,000 monthly active users.
Earlier this year, Coinhako launched Privé, a digital assets platform to serve the institutional and high-net-worth markets. It also recently hosted Singapore’s first large-scale NFT gallery event, Right Click + Save, at Le Freeport which has garnered international attention.
At the back of this strong growth, the global cryptocurrency market is booming, as it recently hit the US$3 trillion mark for the first time.
According to Mastercard’s latest survey, 45 per cent of consumers in Asia Pacific are considering using cryptocurrency within the next year, higher than the global average of 40 per cent.
In Singapore and across the region, banks have accelerated efforts to adopt blockchain and offer crypto trading, and some traditional financial institutions have launched their crypto exchange platforms.
“Coinhako contributes to Singapore’s growth as a crypto hub. Over the next few years, we will broaden our services in Singapore and expand into more regional markets while ensuring that our platform remains a safe and secure platform for our customers,” said Gerry Eng, co-founder and CTO of Coinhako.
“Our vision is to make Coinhako the top crypto trading platform in Singapore and across the region.”