Ripple secures major payments institution license in Singapore

Ripple’s Singapore branch will provide regulated digital payment token products and services, facilitating the expansion of XRP for cross-border transfers

Singapore has granted in-principle approval to blockchain company Ripple for a Major Payments Institution License, according to an announcement made by Ripple. The license, issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), allows Ripple's Singapore branch to offer regulated digital payment token products and services. It also enables the company to expand the utilization of its cryptocurrency, XRP, for cross-border transfers among its clientele, which primarily consists of banks and financial institutions.

This regulatory approval comes as a positive development for the cryptocurrency industry, which has been facing stricter regulations in the US and a crackdown on the crypto industry with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuits against major companies such as Coinbase and Binance

Singapore serves as a crucial currency corridor for Ripple's global on-demand liquidity transactions, and it is the company's regional Asia-Pacific headquarters. Ripple has been increasing its presence in Singapore, doubling its headcount over the past year across various departments, including compliance, business development, and finance. The company plans to continue its expansion in the country.

MAS, the Singaporean financial regulator, has been actively granting licenses in the payment services sector. To date, it has approved 190 Major Payment Institution licenses and 11 Digital Payment Token Service licenses. Singapore has gained a reputation as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction, attracting major companies in the financial technology space.

Stu Alderoty, Ripple's chief legal officer, commended Singapore's forward-looking approach to regulating digital assets and creating a clear taxonomy for them. He expressed satisfaction with Ripple being among other reputable firms, such as Coinbase and Circle, that comply with the rules and promote innovation and investment.

Ripple's legal battle with the SEC, which started back in December 2020, continues, with the company denying allegations of conducting an illegal securities offering. The approval of the Major Payments Institution License in Singapore provides a boost to Ripple amidst ongoing regulatory challenges.

Additionally, last month Ripple acquired a crypto custody services firm, Metaco, to expand its presence in the Swiss market and diversify away from its home country.

Ripple also recently partnered with the Central Bank of Montenegro to conduct a pilot program for a central bank digital currency (CBDC), aiming to provide a national digital currency solution for the country that currently uses the euro.

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Written by Silvia Pavlof

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