Upbit’s Singapore entity recently received in-principal approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license, allowing the exchange to offer digital payment token services to institutional investors.
While Upbit awaits full licensing, this achievement is seen as a strategic milestone for the exchange’s expansion in Singapore. Upbit is South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume.
Founded in 2018, Upbit Singapore has been steadily working toward this regulatory approval to strengthen its local presence in the country.
Alex Kim, the CEO of Upbit Singapore, expressed the significance of this approval as the firm’s dedication to expanding its business. Azman Hamid, the compliance chief at Upbit, highlighted the company’s goal to further develop its operations in Singapore.
Full approval for Upbit would mean that the exchange joins a select group of 15 cryptocurrency firms with complete MPI digital payment token service licenses issued by MAS.
Notably, Upbit is one of several cryptocurrency-related entities that have made significant progress in obtaining regulatory approval in Singapore.
Singapore’s thriving crypto regulatory landscape
Throughout October, prominent players in the cryptocurrency industry received approvals for MPI licenses from MAS. On 2 October, Coinbase secured full approval for its MPI license. On the same day, crypto trading firm GSR received in-principal approval for its MPI license.
Subsequently, on 3 October, Swiss cryptocurrency bank subsidiary Sygnum Singapore obtained its full MPI license, followed by Ripple [XRP], which received full approval on 4 October.
These approvals have expanded the list of MAS-licensed digital payment token service providers to 15 companies.
Upbit repelled 159k hacks in H1 2023
Upbit experienced a surge in hacking attempts during the first half of 2023, with 159,061 recorded cases. This was a 117% rise from the first half of 2022. Moreover, it was a staggering 1,800% surge from the same period in 2020.
Despite implementing measures to enhance security, including using cold wallets, Representative Park Seong-jung has called for comprehensive cybersecurity tests to protect virtual asset exchanges and critical sectors.