Exclusive: Crypto Exchange CEX.IO Applies for License in Singapore


UK-based crypto exchange, CEX.IO, is hoping to get the official green light to operate in Singapore, Finance Magnates has learned. The crypto venue that also operates a regulated business in the US said application has already been submitted to the island state’s authorities under new legislation passed in January.

Under the act, crypto and blockchain companies are required to first register their business and then apply for a license to operate in the jurisdiction.

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The move comes as Singapore provides greater regulatory clarity for these companies looking to cater to the local market. Most recently, the country has passed its Payment Services Act, enabling cryptocurrency firms to apply for a license to operate and even expand their businesses worldwide.

The law cited in its statement, Payment Services Act (PSA), covers all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore, bringing CEX.IO and its peers under anti-money laundering and counterterrorist-financing rules.

Singapore’s PSA law is similar to Europe’s Fifth European Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5), which also went into effect earlier in January.

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Since 2015, CEX.IO’s trading services have been available in the US with a growing number of Money Transmitter Licenses under their belt, alongside plans to expand to all 50 states.

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“I believe that Singapore will form the third pillar of our business and allow CEX.IO to become a truly global corporation. My view is that Asia is one of the biggest markets for retail customers, and Singapore is probably the best location to be based in Asia at this point to serve our institutional client base. This expansion will allow CEX.IO to continue accelerating our growth to become one of the industry’s five key players very soon,” Konstantin Anissimov, Executive Director at CEX.IO, stated.

CEX.IO also revealed in their statement to Finance Magnates that it hired Richard Carrick, who until recently served as regional head of financial crime assurance at Barclays Bank, to head their new office in Singapore.

Richard in his previous capacity with Barclays was responsible for ensuring the bank’s Asian businesses are in compliance with FCA and local regulatory requirements. He brings more than two decades of experience covering a broad range of compliance roles and consultancy services.

Founded in 2013, CEX.IO classifies itself as a self-regulated venue and is licensed as an authorized electronic money institution (AEMI) under the UK’s FCA. When it started out, CEX.IO was not an exchange but a cloud mining platform.

CEX.IO holds a money service business (MSB) status with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which allows a company to act as a money transmitter in the United States with the stringent independent annual audit.

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