March 17, 2023
By Sharan Kaur Phillora
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase will let customers in Singapore move funds to and from accounts via local banks, smoothing one path to investing in digital assets at a time when markets are on edge over financial stability and crypto banking.
Here’s what we know:
Transfers, in Singapore dollars, are facilitated by a traditional bank, Standard Chartered, and carry no fee, the company said in a statement. Previously, users could only purchase crypto via a Visa or Mastercard debit or credit card or transfer crypto in and out of their Coinbase account.
On Wednesday, the exchange announced a new strategic banking partnership with Standard Chartered as part of the expansion plan.
The exchange noted that Singaporean retail customers can now transfer funds between their Coinbase accounts and any domestic bank. Apart from upgrading its platform for transfers, the collaboration with Standard Chartered opens the road for exchange between the Singaporean dollar and crypto.
Hassan Ahmed, Coinbase’s country director for Singapore, told Reuters in an interview that the move was part of the company’s international expansion strategy. Rivals Crypto.com and Gemini already offer a similar service.
However, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has discouraged retail cryptocurrency trading since it began tightening crypto rules.
Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam stated that the MAS is careful regarding cryptocurrencies and discourages retail investors from participating in trading, noting the “hazardous” nature of cryptocurrencies.
Therefore, Singapore’s quest to become the crypto hub comes with a regulatory mandate. Despite that, Coinbase vows to allow easy fund transfers between the exchange account and any local bank for free.
Reiterating compliance, the Nasdaq-listed exchange received In-Principle Approval (IPA) from the MAS. The agency provides approval under the Payment Services Act (PSA) for regulated Digital Payment tokens (DPT) services.
That said, Coinbase also made a debut with Singpass. In its announcement, the exchange noted, “We are also pleased to introduce Singpass, the familiar and secure “2-click” experience that Singaporeans are accustomed to using across their apps, making it even easier for you to join our platform.” Despite fragile investor sentiments, the cryptocurrency market is rebounding.
About the author
Sharan Kaur Phillora’s thirst for knowledge has led her to study many different subjects, including NFTs and Blockchain technology – two emerging technologies that will change how we interact with each other in the future. When she isn’t exploring a new idea or concept, she enjoys reading literary masterpieces.