South Korea’s premier cryptocurrency exchange, Upbit, has secured in-principle approval for a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). This preliminary approval allows Upbit Singapore to continue offering digital payment token services to institutional investors while awaiting full license authorization.
Upon receiving full approval, Upbit will join an exclusive group of 15 crypto firms holding MPI digital payment token service licenses granted by MAS. This regulatory green light aligns with the broader trend in the cryptocurrency industry. In October, several cryptocurrency-focused entities also obtained their licenses from MAS.
Alex Kim, the founder and CEO of Upbit Singapore, described the in-principle license approval as a strategic milestone, emphasizing the exchange’s dedication to solidifying its local presence. Notably, Coinbase, a prominent player in the industry, was granted a full MPI license.
On the same day, crypto trading firm GSR received in-principle approval for its MPI, and Swiss crypto bank subsidiary Sygnum Singapore secured its full MPI license just a day later.
Upbit’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region includes regulated digital asset exchanges in Indonesia and Thailand, along with VerifyVASP, a leading Travel Rule solution provider. Alex Kim highlighted Singapore’s significance as a global powerhouse, unlocking new opportunities for retail, institutional, and infrastructure-focused businesses.
Ripple, a well-known cryptocurrency company, also celebrated the receipt of its full MPI license on October 4, further underlining Singapore’s growing status as a cryptocurrency-friendly jurisdiction. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse commended Singapore, acknowledging its emergence as one of the leading fintech and crypto hubs, thanks to MAS’ leadership in striking a balance between innovation, consumer protection, and responsible growth.