By Xinghui Kok
SINGAPORE (Reuters) -Blockchain.com, a cryptocurrency exchange backed by investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, said on Wednesday it had received approval from Singapore’s central bank to offer payment services in the city-state.
The announcement came a day after crypto giant, Coinbase, said it had also received the same approval. This brings the number of crypto companies allowed to operate in Singapore to 18, out of the roughly 180 firms who have applied for a crypto payments licence as of January this year.
Blockchain.com, which was valued at $14 billion in March, said in a statement that it views Singapore as an attractive location to grow its institutional customers and team. Half of its business comes from institutions and its retail business has 84 million wallet holders from 200 countries, it said.
Singapore’s welcoming approach has helped the financial hub attract digital asset services-related firms from China, India and elsewhere in the last few years, making it a major centre in Asia.
However, crypto players have seen the value of their holdings drop after this year’s collapse of crypto fund Three Arrows Capital and cryptocurrencies Luna and TerraUSD, as well as a steady stream of cyber robberies.
(Reporting by Xinghui Kok; Editing by Anshuman Daga and Louise Heavens)