Bitstamp pre-approved for Major Payment Institution license in Singapore

Bitstamp’s focus on the Asia Pacific, with Singapore as its hub, reflects confidence in its service offerings to both institutional and retail customers in the region.

Bitstamp has received In-Principle Approval (IPA) from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), a crucial step towards securing a Major Payment Institution license.

If the digital asset company is successful in securing a Major Payment Institution license, Bistamp will then be able to offer digital payment token services in compliance with Singapore’s Payment Services Act.

This strategic development aims to position Bitstamp as a key service provider in Singapore, catering to institutions such as payment processors, fintech companies, and brokerages.

Bitstamp collecting licenses and registrations across key markets

The pre-approval from Singapore’s financial watchdog comes amidst significant regulatory advancements in the financial sector, including the European Union’s implementation of the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) framework and the U.S.’s approval of Bitcoin ETFs.

Bitstamp’s focus on the Asia Pacific, with Singapore as its hub, reflects confidence in its service offerings to both institutional and retail customers in the region.

Singapore’s Major Payment Institution license wouldn’t be Bitstamp’s first license. In fact, it wouldn’t even be the 50th as the company already surpassed that number in licenses and registrations across key markets, including Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, the United States (with coverage in 40 states including New York, Washington, Texas, and Florida), and the United Kingdom.

Surge in interest for Bitstamp-as-a-Service

In late 2023, Bitstamp engaged in discussions with three big European banks around the introduction of cryptocurrency services in 2024. The move indicates a trend within the European Union where the crypto regulatory initiative, known as Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), is paving a more straightforward path for traditional financial institutions to immerse themselves in the realm of digital assets.

Bitstamp’s Chief Commercial Officer Robert Zagotta revealed that their “Bitstamp-as-a-Service” offering has seen a surge in interest, especially within European circles. This service provides a white-label licensing framework, combined with the necessary technology, to help banks and fintech institutions in facilitating cryptocurrency transactions for their clientele.

The welcoming environment in Europe and Singapore is not found in India, where the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) requested the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to block the URLs of nine major global crypto exchanges, including Bitstamp.

Binance, Kraken, Kucoin, Bittrex,, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, and MEXC Global, were blocked for allegedly operating illegally in India and failing to comply with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

This action is part of India’s ongoing efforts to bring cryptocurrencies under the ambit of anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism frameworks. As of now, 31 crypto firms have registered with the FIU, but several offshore entities catering to Indian users have not complied with these regulations.

The FIU’s decision highlights concerns about the use of global cryptocurrency platforms by Indian traders, many of whom have reportedly switched to these platforms to evade taxes. India has recently implemented stringent tax measures on virtual currencies, including a 30% tax on gains and a 1% deduction on each crypto transaction.