Singapore Grants Crypto Licenses to DBS and Independent Reserve


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, has formally approved two companies to provide crypto services. One is the brokerage arm of DBS, the largest bank in Singapore and Southeast Asia. The other is Independent Reserve, a crypto exchange and OTC trading desk.

Singapore’s Central Bank Formally Approves DBS and Independent Reserve

DBS Bank announced Friday that its brokerage arm, DBS Vickers (DBSV), “has received formal approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) under the Payment Services Act 2019 to provide digital payment token services as a Major Payment Institution.”

The bank explained: “This will enable DBSV, as a member of DBS Digital Exchange (Ddex), to directly support asset managers and companies to trade in digital payment tokens through Ddex.”

Eng-Kwok Seat Moey, head of Capital Markets at DBS and chair of the DBS Digital Exchange, commented:

Having received formal regulatory approval from MAS, DBSV is now in a better position to support institutional and corporate investors in tapping into the growing potential of digital assets as an investment class.

Since its launch in December as a member-only bourse, DBS Digital Exchange has been “growing very rapidly,” the bank said last month, adding that the platform expected the number of trading members to double by the end of December, and grow by 20-30% annually for the next three years.

Another company, Independent Reserve, a crypto exchange and OTC trading desk, also announced Friday that it has gained “licensure approval” from the MAS. The exchange, established in Australia in 2013, provides SGD, AUD, USD, and NZD fiat-to-crypto trading pairs. The company wrote:

Cryptocurrency exchange Independent Reserve has today received approval for a Major Payment Institution License in Singapore … to operate as a regulated provider for Digital Payment Token Services.

Independent Reserve CEO Adrian Przelozny opined: “A well-regulated environment will benefit both investors and crypto industry stakeholders. With tailormade rules for the crypto industry, Singapore currently has the clearest and most detailed licensing requirements of any jurisdiction in Asia.”

The exchange announced in August that it received an “in-principle approval” from the central bank. Since then, “we’ve seen an influx of retail and institutional investors,” said Raks Sondhi, Managing Director of Independent Reserve in Singapore.

What do you think about the central bank granting crypto licenses to DBS and Independent Reserve? Let us know in the comments section below.

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