Upbit, one of South Korea’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, has successfully obtained a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for its local branch, Upbit Singapore. This announcement was made via Upbit’s official website on Jan. 8.
Upbit Plans to Expand Services in Singapore
With the newly acquired MPI license, Upbit Singapore is poised to broaden its service offerings within the country. Joining the ranks of 15 other institutions holding MPI status in Singapore, such as Ripple, Blockchain.com, Paxos, Coinbase, and Revolut, Upbit aims to strengthen its presence and cater to the growing demand in the market.
The MAS granted initial in-principle approval to the Asian exchange in October 2023. Despite having operated in Singapore since 2018, this approval marked a significant step for the Singapore exchange. At the time of the initial approval, Raks Sondhi, the Chief Operating Officer of Upbit Singapore, expressed the company’s focus on “the institutional segment and infrastructure projects” within the Singaporean market.
The MPI license obtained by the exchange allows the institution to provide a range of crypto and fiat-related services to the Singaporean populace. Notably, licensed firms under MPI are exempt from single transaction limits of 3 million Singaporean dollars ($2.2 million) and monthly limits of 6 million Singaporean dollars ($4.4 million) when conducting payment services.
MAS Measures and Regulatory Environment
In November 2023, MAS introduced measures targeting digital payment token service providers to mitigate speculation in cryptocurrency investments. These measures prohibit service providers from offering financing, margin, or leveraged transactions and discourage incentives for cryptocurrency trading. Furthermore, customers are restricted from using credit cards for crypto purchases, and their crypto holdings are not considered a part of their net worth by banking institutions.