New York-based cryptocurrency trading and custody platform Paxos has received a license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), making the firm the first crypto player to snag regulatory approval in both New York and Singapore, the company said Thursday.
Crypto companies of a certain size tend to be in a constant cycle of license shopping, especially in strategically important financial centers like the U.S., Singapore and Switzerland.
Paxos, which holds a limited purpose trust charter for digital assets in the U.S. and was one of the first crypto firms to be regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services, has actually had a presence in Singapore since 2012, said Rich Teo, the co-founder and CEO of Paxos Asia.
“It’s almost 10 years actually since we were first incorporated and established in Singapore, so throughout history we’ve always been a little bit New York, a little bit Singapore as well,” Teo told CoinDesk in an interview.
Attaining a crypto license from the MAS is no easy task with 100 or so applicants having been turned away, Nikkei Asia reported late last year. So far, just a handful of firms have gained crypto licenses, including DBS Vickers Securities, which is a unit of Singapore's DBS Bank.
“We’re not the very first, but I think if there is a preference, it comes down to regulatory compliance being part of our DNA,” Teo said.