A look at the development of cryptocurrencies in Singapore over the years


Singapore has solidified its status as Asia’s leading fintech center for cryptocurrencies with its recent move to licensing digital payment service providers.

As other Asian cities like Hong Kong remain firm in cryptocurrency-related legislation, welcoming Singapore’s stance he hopes will entice digital asset groups. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has actively promoted fintech companies, in an attempt to attract investment and entrepreneurs who contribute to the country’s development.

Singapore’s path to cryptocurrency regulation has so far been a cautious and interesting path. In this article, we will look at key cryptocurrency movements in Singapore over the years.


A local cryptocurrency exchange, FYB-SG was founded years ago January 2013 and offered bitcoin trading for fiat currency, specifically in singapore dollars.

Founder of the Liberty Reserve
Founder of Liberty Reserve / Image Credit: Wall Street Journal

Investigations were launched later that year involving the Liberty Reserve online currency transfer service, which dragged Singapore into high profile criminal case.

The Liberty Reserve reportedly allowed a member of the Dominican Republic gang to deposit thousands of dollars in stolen cash into two of the company’s accounts through currency centers based in Russia and Singapore. This was one of the first cases prompt authorities to regulate the virtual currency industry.

In September 2013. MAS warned consumers not to trade bitcoins although some merchants in Singapore have begun to accept crypto payments for physical goods.


bitcoin atm singapore
Bitcoin ATM in Singapore / Image Credit: Ethereum World News

Run Tembus terminals The first Asian bitcoin ATM at a small pub on Boat Quay in February 2014.

Singapore is expected to become next month the second country in the world after the US to regulate digital currencies like bitcoin.

MAS has issued a proposal to verify the identity of customers in any virtual currency exchange and called for the reporting of suspicious transactions. This regulation is imposed to address the potential risks of money laundering or terrorist financing.

That same year, it was the cryptocurrency exchange platform in Singapore, Coinhako launched. Its digital platform allows consumers to buy, sell and secure bitcoin and other digital assets.

Coinhako is also one of Asia’s first digital asset wallet services and now stores more of them 100,000 user wallets.


In 2015, there were some 63 companies associated with cryptocurrencies in Singapore. In the same year, a payment processing gateway was launched in Singapore that offers credit card processing and internet banking transfers, Xfers.

A domestic crypto startup responsible for the first Asian bitcoin ATM, Tembusu raised $ 1.2 million for cryptocurrency development in January 2015. This fresh capital injection estimated the company at $ 11 million.

Coinbase Singapore
Coinbase / Image Credit: Coingape

Coinbase, one of the world’s largest bitcoin companies based in the US, has launched buying and selling operations in Singapore and Canada in September 2015, as part of efforts to expand the global use of digital currency. Singapore was the company’s first attack in Asia.

TenX was also founded years ago 2015 during the hackathon in Singapore; it is a payment platform that allows users to make daily transactions with cryptocurrencies.


The Bank of Canada and MAS have moved on Project Jasper and project Ubin in 2016

As part of the Ubin Project, MAS has partnered with blockchain technology companies and financial institutions to make interbank payments using blockchain technology.

Project ubin singapore
Project Ubin Singapore / Image Credit: Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute

Digix, which founded Singapore, a gold tracking tool on the Ethereum block, raised its $ 5.5 million sales target in less than 12 hours in April 2016.

Unfortunately, there are two Bitcoin ATMs in Tiong Bahru Plaza and Hong Lim Complex crashed given that the price of cryptocurrencies in December 2017 jumped above $ 16,000. Bitcoin wallet service provider Coinhako was one of the few cryptocurrency-related companies to experience the closure of bank accounts by local banks.


In June 2017, Singapore-based cryptocurrency mover TenX picked up $ 80 million for ICO, in which he raised $ 43 million in just seven minutes.

Singapore’s headquarters crypto trading platform Huobi as well launched Local business in November 2017

Singapore the first legal dispute which includes cryptocurrencies bitcoin went on trial on December 5, 2017. Electronic market maker, B2C2, attempted to recover 3,084,78582325 bitcoins from Singapore-based bitcoin exchange operator Quoine.

Duchy Cafe, Singapore
Duchy Cafe, Singapore / Image Credit: Reuters

In December 2017, cryptocurrency mining company Ducatus Global opened Singapore the first cashless cafe at Oxley Tower on Robinson Road. It only accepts non-cash payments, including cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ducatus coins. There is also an in-store cryptocurrency ATM.

On December 17, 2017, Bitcoin reached an all-time high $ 19,783.06, compared to January 2017, when one bitcoin was worth just under $ 1,000.

After this jump, MAS issued press release warning the public to invest in cryptocurrencies on December 20, 2017. Just days after, on December 22, 2017, Bitcoin fell for 45 percent at $ 11,000.


A decentralized storage network company based in Singapore, Bluzelle, raised nearly $ 20 million with a 24-hour campaign in February 2018.

Parliamentary questions were asked in 2018 regarding the ban on cryptocurrency trading. MAS replied suitable for crypto traders, adding that the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing will be closely monitored.

Furthermore, MAS confirmed the economic and social benefits of encouraging experiments in the blockchain space, especially with regard to cryptocurrencies.

MAS then issued a warning 2018 on eight digital token exchanges in Singapore so as not to facilitate the trading of digital tokens that are unauthorized securities or futures contracts. It also warned the issuer of the initial coin offer (ICO) to stop offering its digital tokens to local investors in Singapore.

By November 2018, the value of Bitcoin was reported fell to about $ 5,500.


Funanov Kopitiam The outlet has started accepting payments in digital currency, including bitcoin, ethereum and creatanium 2019.

Funan hoofs
Funan Kopitiam / Image Credit: CapitaLand

Binance, now one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platforms, launched in Singapore in April 2019.

MAS issued a consultative document on November 20, 2019, proposing to allow trading in payment token derivatives on an approved stock exchange and to regulate the activity according to the Law on Securities and Futures.

Singapore Blockchain Landscape 2019
Singapore Blockchain Landscape 2019 / Image Credit: IMDA

Torque, an investment platform that seems to use a multi-level marketing scheme, is also involved 2019 author of Singaporean Bernard Ong, in the British Virgin Islands.


TenX announced indefinitely shut down and discontinued its services January 2020

The MAS has launched the Payment Services Act (PSA) in Singapore. The Payment Services Act is a framework for the regulation of payment systems and payment service providers in Singapore. It ensures regulatory certainty and consumer protection, while fostering innovation and growth in payment services and Fintech.

For example, Xfers was licensed by the Main Payment Institution (MPI) January 28, 2020 by MAS. Later in October, the company was launched XSGD in October 2020, the first stabilnicoin under the Travel Rules supported the Singapore dollar 1: 1.

MAS and Temasek as well announced On July 13, 2020, the final phase of the Ubin project was successfully completed.

Singapore Blockchain Landscape 2020
Singapore Blockchain Landscape 2020 / Image Credit: IMDA

DBS announced On December 10, 2020, it will establish a digital member-only exchange (DDEx) for cryptocurrencies for institutions and wealthy clients to take advantage of asset tokenization.

Twins started supporting the Singapore dollar in crypto buying and trading on December 22, 2020.


February 2021 collapse cryptocurrency trading platforms based in Singapore, Torque, and the suspension of all its trading activities. Do 155 police reports were filed against Torque by April 2021, and investors demanded millions in cryptocurrency losses.

Singapore was too reported to be the Asian center for digital securities trading in March 2021.

In addition to the cross-border money transfer service, AdyenThe license of the Large Bank as the main payment institution under the CAP has been extended to include merchant acquisition and domestic money transfer services. Furthermore, Adyen Singapore was the first global payment provider to be licensed for merchant acquisition services under PSA.

Singapore Cryptocurrency Status Report 2021 conducted in July 2021 by crypto exchange Gemini discovered that Ether is a cryptocurrency owned by Singapore, followed by bitcoin, cardano and coin Binance. The report found that 34 percent of non-cryptocurrency owners are likely to start investing in crypto next year.

To solidify Singapore’s status as a hub of cryptocurrencies and blockchains, MAS issued its first PSA licenses in August 2021. For example, the Independent Reserve, an Australian crypto exchange was approved MAS “approval in principle” under the Payment Services Act of 3 August 2021.

Monetary Authority of Singapore
Monetary Authority of Singapore / Image Credit: Munshi / Ahmed / Bloomberg

In August 2021, DBS launched a digital exchange, DBS Vickers, which received MAS approval in principle for the provision of cryptocurrency trading services for digital payment tokens. DDEx reportedly recorded nearly $ 180 million in total trading value in 2021.

What awaits the crypto in Singapore?

The future of cryptocurrencies in Singapore looks bright. The growth of Singapore as a regional hub encourages new initiatives in nearby countries, such as Thailand and Japan.

However, new challenges are sure to emerge, such as security issues and the cost of fixed assets. Users may still have reserves to trade in the digital space because there are still cybersecurity issues. Liquidity and transparency in digital asset pricing still have much room for improvement, and there is optimism that the market is growing to accommodate greater liquidity.

At the same time, the question remains how the growth of digital exchange could jeopardize or complement more traditional currency exchanges.

Highlight Credit: Comply Advantage

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