Singapore Government Approves GSR Markets for OTC Crypto Trading

April 4, 2024

In a significant move towards embracing cryptocurrencies, the Singaporean government has granted GSR Markets, a Hong Kong-based crypto market maker, a license for its Singaporean division to offer over-the counter (OTC) services. GSR Singapore has officially been granted a Major Payment Institution license, as detailed in a report. This allows the crypto market agency to conduct spot OTC and market-making services within Singapore’s regulatory framework.

It had previously secured an in-principle approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) back in September.

This license marks a significant milestone for GSR Markets, as it is one of the first companies of its kind to receive such approval in Singapore. The move underscores the city-state’s ambitions to become a crypto-friendly hub, as it continues to develop fair and orderly markets for digital assets.

“As one of the first firms of our type to be granted this license, we are excited to continue to lead the way in developing fair and orderly markets for digital assets,” said Xin Song, COO of GSR Group and CEO of GSR Singapore.

The regulatory nod comes as Singapore addresses concerns over speculative crypto investments by retail investors, following market turbulence during the 2022-2023 bear market. The country has expanded its crypto regulation to include custody services and all firms facilitating crypto-related fund transfers, regardless of whether they physically hold the assets or not.

MAS cautioned retail investors earlier this January against investing in spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) despite their approval in the U.S. The financial regulation authority emphasized that such products are not yet recognized as eligible assets for collective investment schemes (CIS) in the region. The regulator advised individuals to exercise caution when participating in the trading of these products in international markets.

As Singapore continues to navigate the complex world of cryptocurrencies, the approval of GSR Markets for OTC services represents a significant step forward in the city-state’s efforts to establish a robust and well-regulated crypto ecosystem.

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