Ripple expands into Asia Pacific with full MPI license

abdelaziz Fathi

Ripple has secured a major payments institution license in Singapore as the company expands its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. The milestone follows the initial in-principle approval granted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore in June.

With the full license in hand, Ripple is now authorized to provide regulated cryptocurrency payment services. Notably, over 90% of Ripple’s business activities take place outside of the United States. The Asia Pacific region, with Singapore as a key hub, has been experiencing rapid growth in Ripple’s operations. As such, the blockchain firm intends to focus on the region for further adoption of its cryptocurrency-enabled payment solutions.

“Since establishing Singapore as our Asia Pacific headquarters in 2017, the country has been pivotal to Ripple’s global business. We have hired exceptional talent and local leadership, doubling headcount over the past year and plan to continue growing our presence in a progressive jurisdiction like Singapore,” said Brad Garlinghouse, Chief Executive Officer of Ripple.

“Under MAS’ leadership, Singapore has developed into one of the leading fintech and digital asset hubs striking the balance between innovation, consumer protection and responsible growth,” he added.

Ripple has been actively engaged in the region since establishing its Asia Pacific headquarters in 2017. The company’s commitment to Singapore was further highlighted when it held its Swell Global conference in the country just two years ago.

This approval is also yet another milestone in Singapore’s positive stance on digital assets and sets the stage for further growth in the country’s digital ecosystem. The Payment Services Act in Singapore has been in place since January 2020, regulating payment services and the offering of cryptocurrency services to the public.

The city-state has also increased its scrutiny of cryptocurrency firms by requiring them to establish a statutory trust to safeguard customer assets by the end of 2023. Additionally, these companies are restricted from facilitating lending or staking of assets for their retail customers.

As part of this framework, stablecoin issuers seeking approval in Singapore must fulfill specific prerequisites related to value stability, capital reserves, and redemption obligations. The proposed regulation grants stablecoin issuers the flexibility to store customers’ stablecoins either with licensed financial institutions in Singapore or overseas custodians, provided the latter have a minimum credit rating of “A-“.

The revised framework specifically targets non-bank issuers of single-currency stablecoins tied to the Singapore Dollar or any G10 currencies, provided their circulation exceeds S$5 million. Such coins will be classified as MAS-regulated stablecoins. Before these regulatory changes come into effect, legislative consultations are requisite, culminating in amendments passed by Parliament.

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