Ripple today announced that it has received in-principle approval for a major payments institution license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank and regulator.
Ripple said the license would allow its Singapore subsidiary to offer regulated digital payment token products and services as well as expand its customers’ use of its crypto-enabled on-demand liquidity (ODL) platform — which has seen 5x growth in the country year-on-year.
“We are pleased that Singapore has taken a forward-looking approach to how digital assets are regulated,” Ripple’s chief legal officer, Stu Alderoty, said in an interview with CoinDesk. “Through their licensing framework, they figured out how to create a clear categorization of digital assets, balancing the need to protect the interests of consumers with the need to protect the integrity of markets, while doing so in a way that promotes innovation and investment.”
Ripple said its Singapore office saw a 50% year-over-year increase in headcount, with up to 50 full-time employees, recruited across key functions such as business development, compliance, finance, legal and sales as it strengthens its presence in the country.
Alderoty explained that a big part of this uptick is that Ripple has access to the growing licensed digital asset market that is thriving in the country.
“I think they attract the responsible actors,” he said. “With this license, we are in partnership with the likes of Coinbase, Circle, and others that have real businesses and real products and have what it takes to play by the rules once the rules are clearly defined.”
To date, MAS And he agreed 190 major payment institution licenses and 11 digital payment token service licenses.
Local media report MAS has received more than 680 applications for payment services licenses since January 2020, with 17 applications rejected and 214 applications withdrawn. Binance withdrew from Singapore and canceled its application for a Digital Payments Token license in December 2021.