As other markets hit the industry and attracted by Singapore’s friendly regulatory environment, global cryptocurrency groups are expanding their operations in Singapore.

The executives who moved to the Asian financial center include Changpeng Zhao, Binance, A cryptocurrency exchange that processes trillions of dollars in transactions every year. Gemini, an American exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, is also increasing its number of employees in Singapore.

The city has not issued licenses to cryptocurrency companies, but has granted exemptions to some of the largest players in the industry, allowing them to provide services to local retail and institutional investors.

Although the growth of the crypto industry has accelerated this year, market regulators include United States, United Kingdom, with China The department has been suppressed. As a competitor of the Asian financial center, Hong Kong will restrict crypto trading to qualified investors or institutional investors under a new law.

Singapore is more enthusiastic about us. The sovereign wealth fund GIC and government-backed investment company Temasek have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in this area. The Monetary Authority of Singapore makes it easier for foreign cryptocurrency groups to set up and provide services to residents, despite restrictions such as transaction restrictions. The Singapore Exchange has launched two cryptocurrency indexes.

“The cryptocurrency brothers around the world have read the text on the wall and realized that Singapore companies are accepting asset classes,” said the founder of a crypto startup based in the city.

Binance has received a license exemption in Singapore and has advertised more than 200 jobs in the city on LinkedIn in the past month. Vitalik ButrinThe founder of the cryptocurrency Ether is also based there.

Binance’s billionaire founder Zhao Changpeng is a Singapore resident © Reuters

OSL, the Hong Kong-based exchange, also received a license exemption and plans to double its number of employees by the end of the year.

“When you consider where to start your business, the first deciding factor is regulation. Kanny Lee, head of OSL’s Singapore office, said that Singapore is very clear on how to participate in the cryptocurrency and digital asset markets.

Gemini, founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, chose Singapore as its Asian headquarters. It is expected to have about 50 employees by the end of 2021, compared with only one when the office opened in June last year.

“Singapore is a major financial center in Asia and has a large number of customers, especially in the private wealth sector. We have already had conversations with wealth management companies because many of them require encryption solutions,” said Jeremy Ng, managing director of Gemini Asia.

Wu Jihan, the billionaire co-founder of China’s cryptocurrency mining Bitmain, Has launched a cryptocurrency startup in the city.

MAS stated that according to Singapore’s Payment Services Act, about 40% of applicants wish to provide digital payment token services, but there has been no “significant increase” in applications “directly attributable to actions taken by other countries”.

Chia Hock Lai, chairman of the Singapore Blockchain Association, said that many Hong Kong companies have set up offices in the city. He said that Hong Kong’s legislation restricts transactions to qualified investors and is “explaining” its position on digital currencies.

At the same time, Singapore’s economy is heavily dependent on services, such as trading And financial transactions.

Daniel Burke, managing director of BitGo, a US cryptocurrency custody company in Singapore, said: “If there is no natural resource industry to rely on Singapore, we cannot risk being overly hostile to an industry that may become a big winner in attracting talent and business.” With the right framework, it may make the city lack of much-needed business in the future.

However, some industry players have stated that the lack of clarity on when MAS will approve licenses is becoming a problem. “We do have some potential customers who say that they will not deal with us until we obtain the appropriate licenses,” one applicant said. “Unfortunately, it is not yet known when it will happen.”

Additional report by Stefania Palma in Singapore

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