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Singaporeans Crypto Adoption Remains High; Staking Emerges as Top Use Case

TL;DR: A new report found that over half of finance-savvy Singaporeans own crypto, with staking emerging as the top use case, presenting an opportunity for regulated platforms to enable compliant participation in this growing trend through features emphasizing security, consumer protections and compliance.

By Hassan Ahmed

International

, February 22, 2024

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Crypto creates economic freedom by ensuring that people can participate fairly in the economy, and Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) is on a mission to increase economic freedom for more than 1 billion people. We’re updating the century-old financial system by providing a trusted platform that makes it easy for people and institutions to engage with crypto assets, including trading, staking, safekeeping, spending, and fast, free global transfers. We also provide critical infrastructure for onchain activity and support builders who share our vision that onchain is the new online. And together with the crypto community, we advocate for responsible rules to make the benefits of crypto available around the world.

A new report from Seedly and Coinbase reveals that over half of finance-savvy Singaporeans own crypto and see it as the future of finance. The survey of over 2,000 adults, conducted in Q4 ‘23, found that 57% currently hold digital assets, with the majority having between US$1,000-$25,000 invested.

Staking Emerges as Top Use Case

Among crypto users in Singapore, "staking" has become the most popular activity over the past year according to the report. 55% of respondents said they had staked crypto through a centralized exchange, while 38% used decentralized finance (DeFi) apps.

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True protocol staking allows crypto holders to earn rewards by allocating their existing holdings to validate transactions on proof-of-stake blockchains like Ethereum. It has grown in popularity as a low-risk passive income strategy that doesn't require active trading. The high level of staking activity in Singapore underscores the case for providing consumers with sound, regulated choices while improving consumer protection. Regulating delegated staking through a centralized service or exchange would further differentiate it from lending products ‘window-dressing’ as staking, and allow consumers’ assets to remain protected at all times. 

Growing Interest Despite Volatility

Despite some market volatility, Singaporeans remain bullish on crypto's long-term potential. 56% believe it is the future of finance, and 46% expect prices to rise over the next 12 months. 

In addition, 54% of respondents say they use stablecoins and 35% say they use crypto for remittances, aligning strongly to Singapore’s broader objectives of increasing utility of digital assets and regulatory developments such as the new stablecoin licensing regime. Their optimism demonstrates the vibrant crypto ecosystem developing in Singapore.

Key Attributes for Exchanges

When choosing where to buy, sell and manage their digital assets, Singaporeans prioritize security, regulation and low fees according to the survey. Over 70% said protecting their funds was the most important attribute of an exchange. This aligns with Coinbase's focus on security, consumer protection and regulatory compliance.

We are encouraged by the results of the recent survey in Singapore that underscore both the rising interest in crypto and staking, further solidifying our conviction that decentralized technologies have the power to broaden access to financial services and represent the future of finance.

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Hassan Ahmed

About Hassan Ahmed

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.