The licence will allow Ripple to offer regulated digital payment token products and services in the city-state, as well as scale its customers’ use of its crypto-enabled On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) service.

The move comes after, in May, the company launched a CBDC platform to help central banks, governments, and financial institutions develop their own central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

Singapore is an important crypto hub alongside other financial centres such as Silicon Valley, New York, Los Angeles, London, Zug and Dubai.

“Singapore is a leading global financial centre and a prominent gateway to business in Asia Pacific”, said Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple. “We’re incredibly proud to receive an in-principle license from the MAS, reaffirming our commitment to the region and ongoing proactive engagement with regulators globally.”

Ripple and Singapore’s crypto market

According to GlobalData’s “Thematic Intelligence: Cryptocurrencies (2023)” report, 4% of all crypto-based M&A deals between 2014 and 2022 were from Singapore. In addition, the city-state accounts for 4% of crypto-related social media mentions made worldwide.

“As more countries develop regulatory frameworks for crypto, many are looking to Singapore’s early leadership in developing a clear taxonomy and licensing framework. This in-principle regulatory approval from the MAS will enable us to better support our forward-looking customers looking to hone in on blockchain and crypto technologies to build a more inclusive and borderless financial system”, said Stu ALderoty, chief legal officer at Ripple.

Overall, GlobalData analysts expect crypto revenues to reach $1.1trn by 2030. These are expected to accelerate in the upcoming years despite a series of bankruptcies that have negatively impacted the crypto market over the last year. Last year, in November, the turmoil in the crypto market culminated with the collapse of FTX, a centralised exchange, and the arrest of its founder and CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried.