South Korean exchange Upbit gets initial license nod from Singapore








The Singapore entity for Upbit, South Korea’s largest exchange by volume, has been given in-principal approval for a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license in Singapore.

On Oct. 16, Upbit Singapore said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) gave the in-principle license nod, allowing it to continue with digital payment token services to institutional investors while awaiting its full license.

Upbit Singapore founder and CEO Alex Kim said in a statement that the firm was founded in 2018 but called the recent approval a strategic milestone for it to deepen its local presence.

The Upbit Singapore team, pictured in the city’s downtown area. Source: Upbit Singapore

Azman Hamid, the firm’s compliance chief, said the approval reflects its commitment to building its businesses in Singapore. “We will contribute to further establish Singapore as the leading hub for the next generation of financial businesses,” he added.

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A potential full approval for Upbit would see the exchange join a total of 15 crypto firms with full MPI digital payment token serve licenses from MAS.

In October alone, the Singaporean entities for Coinbase, Ripple and Sygnum Bank all received license approvals from MAS — pushing the number of MAS-licensed digital payment token service firms to 15.

On Oct. 2,  Coinbase received full approval for its MPI license, with crypto trading firm GSR scoring in-principal approval for its MPI the same day. Swiss crypto bank subsidiary Sygnum Singapore scored its full MPI license a day later and Ripple received its full MPI on Oct. 4.

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