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Coinbase obtains Major Payment Institution licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore

By Nana Murugesan, Hassan Ahmed

International

, October 1, 2023

, 5 min read time

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Coinbase Singapore is pleased to announce that we have obtained a Major Payment Institution (MPI) licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore. This development, coming after our initial In Principle Approval, amplifies our commitment to the Singapore market, enabling us to expand our provision of Digital Payment Token services to both individuals and institutions in Singapore.

In our recent international expansion update, we emphasised the importance of clear regulation, innovation, and trust from our users. With 25% of surveyed Singaporeans considering crypto as the future of finance and 32% being either current or past owners of crypto, Singapore has naturally become a significant location for this industry.  Moreover, Singapore is home to over 700 Web3 companies, making it a pivotal market for the growth of the crypto and Web3 economy.

Singapore as a Priority Market

From our initial involvement in the Lion City, we've identified Singapore as a vital market for Coinbase. The nation's progressive economic strategies and approach to regulation sync well with our global mission and objectives.

In response to the region's growing demands and unique market dynamics, we've actively developed and released products tailored specifically for Singapore. Earlier this year, for instance, we introduced convenient funding options, including PayNow and FAST bank transfers.With the integration of SingPass, the trusted digital identity of Singapore, we rolled out a more streamlined onboarding process. Additionally, we introduced no-fee USDC purchases with SGD to make it easier for our Singaporean customers to get started. 

Growing the Regional Cryptoeconomy

Beyond simply offering products, our commitment stretches to the broader Web3 ecosystem in Singapore. This includes training and hiring initiatives at our Singapore tech hub, fostering strong relationships with industry associations such as ACCESS, the Singapore Fintech Association, and the Blockchain Association of Singapore, and making region-specific investments through Coinbase Ventures. Notably, over 15 of these investments are rooted in Singapore.

Our ongoing collaborations with the local developer community and key partners, such as Nansen.ai, Blockdaemon, and Infura, have been instrumental, particularly when supplemented with innovative solutions like our Base blockchain and Wallet-as-a-Service. Moreover, our active community involvement is evident through initiatives like sponsoring Ethereum Singapore and conducting workshops at prestigious universities including the National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University, and Nanyang Technological University.

At Coinbase, we're deeply committed to reshaping the financial landscape by developing trusted products that bolster the utility and adoption of crypto. Our core belief is that blockchain and crypto technologies have the power to amplify economic freedom and opportunities globally. We've seen many international markets crafting innovative policies to emerge as crypto hubs. In this light, our recent achievements in Singapore resonate even stronger. The newly acquired licence is not only a validation of Coinbase's operations but also represents a promise and responsibility to the growing crypto and Web3 community in Singapore.

We've made it a priority to work with regulators in key countries as part of our international growth. Over the last year, we've achieved VASP registrations in Spain, Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore is among the most sophisticated Web3 regulators we work with around the globe. As we look ahead, we are enthusiastic about further contributing to and growing alongside the crypto and Web3 community in Singapore.

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Nana Murugesan
Hassan Ahmed

About Nana Murugesan and Hassan Ahmed

Nana Murugesan is the Vice President of International and Business Development at Coinbase where he leads the company’s international operations and global partnerships. Previously, he was the Managing Director of International Markets at Snap Inc. where he led Snapchat’s international expansion and strategic partnerships.

Earlier in his career, Nana was the Vice President and General Manager at Samsung, where he served in a number of strategy, partnerships, and operations roles to launch and grow their Galaxy smartphone and services business, notably Samsung Pay. He also held product roles at Cisco and strategy consulting roles at BCG.

Nana received his BE in Engineering from the University of Madras, MS in Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Hassan serves as the Country Director of Singapore at Coinbase. His background encompasses significant roles in both web3 and fintech, making him a knowledgeable leader in the regional cryptocurrency industry.

Prior to Coinbase, Hassan held positions at GoTo Group. As the Chief Executive Officer of Coins.ph, managing operations of the crypto brokerage in the Philippines. Concurrently, he was the Head of Strategy for Gopay, Indonesia's eWallet service.

Hassan's professional experience extends to New York, where he oversaw the launch of eToro’s regulated crypto trading platform in the United States as Director of Finance & Operations. Additionally, he was Head of Business Operations at Venmo and Vice President of Strategy at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

Hassan has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

For those interested in Singapore's cryptocurrency and Web3 landscape, Hassan's experience offers a comprehensive overview of cryptocurrency, traditional finance and fintech.

Hassan has been a speaker at Singapore Fintech Festival and MoneyLive Asia. He has also lectured at INSEAD. Additionally, he contributed to the working paper titled "Realizing the Promise and Potential of 'Web3' for Pakistan" authored by Uzair Younus in February 2022.