U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase received a key regulatory license in Singapore as it ramps up expansion overseas, the company said on Tuesday.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, granted Coinbase an in-principle approval to provide regulated digital token products and services in the island state.
Coinbase’s regulatory approval comes as the crypto market remains under pressure. Around $2 trillion has been wiped off the value of the market with major tokens like bitcoin and ether in the red this year.
Contagion from the collapse of major projects and bankcrupties across firms has spread across the industry. Coinbase announced in June it was laying off 18% off its workforce.
Still, the U.S. exchange has pushed ahead with international expansion and is seeking to hire across new markets in Europe.
Coinbase has been making steady investments in Singapore. Last year, the company announced that Singapore will one of its tech development hub. The island state is also the hub for Coinbase’s business focused on institutional investors in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Gaining this in-principle approval from MAS is an important step, as we plan to launch our full suite of retail, institutional and ecosystem products,” Coinbase said in a blog post on Tuesday.
MAS has given such approvals to 15 different firms as Singapore looks to build its reputation as a regulated global hub for the cryptocurrency industry.
While the central banks has warned about the “speculative” risks of cryptocurrencies and has looked to tighten rules around trading for retail investors, it is still trying to attract businesses to set up shop in Singapore.