Stablecoin issuer Circle receives license in Singapore
- Singapore granted an MPI license to stablecoin issuer Circle.
- The license permits Circle to provide digital payment token services, cross-border money transfers, and local money transfer services.
Stablecoin issuer Circle received a license from the central bank of Singapore on 7 June.
The Boston-based stablecoin issuer announced that Circle Internet Singapore Pte. Ltd., its Singapore affiliate, has secured a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
The license permits it to provide digital payment token services, cross-border money transfers, and local money transfer services in the city-state.
Circle Singapore formally opened its office last month, after obtaining an in-principle approval as a major payment institution from the local regulator in November 2022.
Circle co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire said, “Singapore is integral to Circle’s global expansion.”
Dante Disparte, Circle’s Chief Strategy Officer said,
“The receipt of the MPI license represents our continued commitment to work with forward-thinking leaders and stakeholders at a global level and contribution to Singapore’s position as a hub for responsible financial services innovation.”
Circle is the issuer of the USD Coin (USDC) and Euro Coin (EUROC) stablecoins. USDC is the second-largest stablecoin in terms of market cap after USD Tether (USDT).
At press time, USDT had a market cap of $83 billion, while USDC had a market cap of $28 billion. In fact, it is the fifth-largest cryptocurrency.
Circle is also the issuer of Euro-based stablecoin, EUROC which had a market cap of $52 million at press time.
Singapore a major crypto center in Asia
Circle is the second crypto firm to acquire an MPI license in Singapore this month after Crypto.com.
The MAS proposed stablecoin guidelines last year to establish capital and reserve requirements for issuers. They also intend to prohibit users from engaging in activities such as lending and staking, which allow users to lock crypto in order to earn interest.
Australian crypto exchange Independent Reserve released a report in March that shows that 44% of Singaporeans hold at least 10% of crypto assets in their portfolio, where 46% invest up to $1,000 per month on crypto assets. Around 45% of Singaporeans cite price volatility as a barrier to cryptocurrency investment, while 30% of them want more consumer protection and regulation.
Crypto ownership in Singapore increased to 43% from 40% in 2022, with 77% of investors holding two or more different crypto assets. The primary reason for investing in crypto has shifted towards diversifying portfolios at 54%, a 10% rise from last year.