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28 July 2021

Singapore Offers Crypto a Safe Haven in Turbulent Times - Decrypt

Singapore Offers Crypto a Safe Haven in Turbulent Times - Decrypt


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It’s a ‘sensor city’ with smart initiatives to promote better living, health and mobility,omelette-making robots, smart homes, and fintech innovation galore, all underpinned by a highly-educated, service-focused populace, and a government that fronts the worldwide drive towards digitization. .

KPMG, one of the'big-four' consultancies, this week gave Singapore the top spot in its global ranking of tech hubs outside Silicon Valley—for the second time in two years.But that’s no surprise to crypto firms that have long valued its pragmatic approach to regulation and its liberal taxation policies—particularly as regulators zero in on unregulated crypto activity elsewhere. .

"Within the region, Singapore has taken on a comparatively more neutral approach to crypto, acknowledging its potential benefits and encouraging innovation and experimentation in the space," Julian Hosp, founder of Cake DeFi, a business based in the city-state, toldDecrypt.

"A lot of crypto platforms have decided that Singapore is going to be a very important place.

Ng said Singapore would be used as a base to expand further into the continent, "to service both our retail and institutional clients across the whole Asia Pacific, including Australia." With that in mind, Gemini is looking to increase its headcount in the city from 30 to 50 by the end of the year.

Crypto companies have been encouraged to take up residence, too, drawn by the state’s friendly regulatory environment—standing in direct contrast to the increasingly hostile reception afforded to many crypto firms in Hong Kong, London and Washington.

Singapore has been generous with its funding for fintech.

Singapore is also working with the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) on Project Dunbar, an initiative to explore governance and connectivity for cross-border transactions using multi-CBDCs that would form the basis of a future international settlement network.

The Singapore authorities have indicated that actions taken by other states will be considered alongside other factors, such as the exchange’s anti-money-laundering controls, when MAS makes its licensing decision.

Recently, it appears that other tech titans have cottoned on too, with reports surfacing ofincreasing numbersof startups seeing the attractions of Singapore, in response to toughening regulations in many parts of the world.

"We have seen a lot of the Chinese founders of exchanges, like Binance and Bybit's co-founders, move over to Singapore," he said.

After arecent crackdownon one alleged racket in Hong Kong, the authorities there revealed that 60% of the funds concerned had been funneled through accounts in Singapore, and enlisted the help of authorities in the city-state to track the final recipients of the funds. 

"Singapore has long been seen as a crypto-friendly country that values the innovation that cryptocurrencies can bring economically and socially, while staying alert to its potential risks," he toldDecrypt

For Singapore, with its emphasis on fintech and innovation, enticing crypto projects to its patch has distinct advantages

An influx of crypto firms, coupled with the right regulations, presents an opportunity to capture some of the value in the digital asset market, not to mention becoming an innovation hub that’s the envy of Southeast Asia, and beyond—perhaps even a Silicon Valley for the 21st century.

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