• B Vrettos and M Bacina

Independent Reserve secures first in-principle license approval in Singapore


In early 2020 the strides that Singaporean regulators were making in the digital asset space caught the attention of one of Australia's oldest and most trusted digital asset exchanges, Independent Reserve. This was the catalyst for their expansion into Singapore which has now paid off with the recent announcement that Independent Reserve has obtained the first in-principle approval to operate as a regulated Digital Payment Token (DPT) services provider in Singapore.


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has received over 150 applications from service providers, of which two have been rejected, 30 were withdrawn and now Independent Reserve is the first to receive the coveted in principle approval. Adrian Przelozny, CEO of Independent Reserve said:

To be one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges to be notified by MAS of our in-principle licencing approval is a reflection of the robustness of the policies, procedures and risk management systems that we have put in place to guide our day-to-day operations.

This follows in quick succession after Independent Reserve's announced their score for Singapore assessing the city-state's awareness, adoption, trust and confidence in digital currency at a promising 63 out of a possible 100. Independent Reserve explain:

A score of 100 indicates maximum awareness, optimism, trust and adoption of cryptocurrency. A score of 0 indicates a complete ignorance of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, and that no one has heard of Bitcoin.

In 2020 Australia scored a not-quite-passing 47 / 100 and this latest result again shows Singapore's leadership around awareness and adoption in the digital asset space. Independent Reserve say responsive regulation from MAS is lifting Singapore's score which aligns with our write ups on recent regulatory change and support for regulated digital asset services including digital asset custody services.


The Singapore approach highlights the value for companies providing digital asset services to have a clear legal framework and certainty from regulators. Australia is in a state of regulatory flux/opportunity with senate submissions and ASIC consultations underway and significant funding entering in the digital asset research space. It is not too late for Australia to catch up, however, emphasis needs to be given to the necessity for government and regulators to provide a transparent and accessible approvals and clear guidance of what can and cannot be done by digital asset service providers. It seems to us that custody is a great place to start.