Reading 3 min Published Updated
Blockchain payments company Ripple has received regulatory approval in principle from Singapore’s financial regulator to offer digital asset payments and token products in the city-state.
Ripple confirmed the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) approval in a June 22 statement. The approval will enable its subsidiary, Ripple Markets Asia Pacific, to further increase on-demand liquidity (ODL). The ODL helps Ripple customers move XRP around the world without the intervention of banks as intermediaries.
We’re honored to obtain In-Principle Approval of a Major Payments Institution License from the @MAS_sg – allowing us to offer regulated digital asset products and services, and scale customer use of #ODL.
Learn more: https://t.co/8Ylc3lZSeg
— Ripple (@Ripple) June 22, 2023
The firm has applied for an institutional payment license under the Singapore Payment Services Act.
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse praised the Singapore regulator for its “pragmatic, innovation-driven approach” to cryptocurrency-related services, adding that the country will be an “outstanding gateway” for Ripple’s business operations in the Asia-Pacific region.
Ripple General Counsel Stew Alderothy also noted that Singapore’s “early leadership” is paving the way for other regulators looking to develop a “clear taxonomy and licensing system.”
1/ @MAS_sg has built a workable framework that truly unites consumer protection, market integrity and innovation. They’ve also outlined a clear taxonomy to classify and regulate digital assets – making it possible for companies like Ripple to build and offer compliant products. https://t.co/KLYzWRrST0
— Stuart Alderoty (@s_alderoty) June 22, 2023
Alderoti explained that the approval is expanding to include Ripple customers.
“This principled regulatory approval from MAS will allow us to better support our forward-thinking clients who want to hone blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies to create a more inclusive and borderless financial system.”
In 2022, Ripple managed to double the number of employees at its Asia-Pacific headquarters as its Singapore base accounts for the majority of ODL transactions passing through the city-state.
On June 21, MAS released its own Purpose Bound Money white paper proposing standards for fintech companies providing digital money services in Singapore:
.@MAS_sg published a whitepaper proposing a common protocol to specify conditions for the use of digital money such as CBDCs, tokenised bank deposits, and stablecoins on a distributed ledger.
— MAS (@MAS_sg) June 21, 2023
While there were no particular legal barriers to Ripple’s path to Singapore compliance, there were none elsewhere.
Ripple’s legal team has had its hands tied with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission since December 2020 after they were sued by the regulator for allegedly offering XRP – the token at the heart of the XRP ledger – as an unregistered securities.
According to Garlinghouse, a decision on the high-profile case will be made in the coming months.
Related: Ripple vs SEC: Could Newly Released Documents Tip the Scale?
On June 15, Ripple partnered with Colombian central bank Banco de la República to pilot a central bank digital currency (CBDC) on its XRP Ledger ledger.
The firm also cooperates with the central banks of Montenegro and Thailand, as well as with many other regional banks and financial institutions around the world.