Upbit, the leading cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea by volume, has received in-principle approval for a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

The initial approval allows Upbit Singapore to continue providing digital payment token services to institutional investors while waiting for full license authorization.

Upbit Joins Exclusive Group of 15 Crypto Firms

Once fully approved, Upbit will be part of a select group of 15 crypto companies that hold MPI digital payment token service licenses from MAS.

This regulatory approval aligns with a wider trend in the crypto industry, as several cryptocurrency-focused entities obtained their licenses from MAS in October.

Alex Kim, founder and CEO of Upbit Singapore, considers the in-principle license approval a strategic milestone and emphasizes the exchange’s commitment to strengthening its local presence.

Coinbase, another prominent player in the industry, received a full MPI license, while GSR, a crypto trading firm, received in-principle approval for its MPI. In addition, Swiss crypto bank subsidiary Sygnum Singapore obtained its full MPI license just a day later.

Upbit APAC currently includes regulated digital asset exchanges in Indonesia and Thailand, as well as VerifyVASP, a leading Travel Rule solution provider. Alex Kim, founder and CEO of Upbit Singapore, expressed his thoughts on the matter, stating:

“Singapore, as our global powerhouse, unlocks new capabilities for retail, institutional, and infrastructure focused businesses.”

Ripple also celebrated receiving its full MPI license on October 4, further highlighting Singapore’s growing status as a cryptocurrency-friendly jurisdiction.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse praised Singapore, acknowledging the country’s position as one of the leading fintech and crypto hubs under MAS’ leadership, “striking the balance between innovation, consumer protection and responsible growth.”


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