More than 100 out of 170 “digital payment token services” in Singapore have reportedly failed to obtain licenses from the local financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, or MAS. 

103 companies related to the digital payment industry in Singapore found their regulatory exemptions removed amid apparently tough regulation, Japan’s financial publication The Nikkei reported Monday, citing data from the MAS.

Sanjay Jain, CEO at Dubai-based crypto exchange Bitxmi, said that their Singaporean branch has failed to secure a license from the MAS.

“We can’t operate in Singapore,” Jain noted. “We have an office there, but it’s just more or less — there’s one person for our accounting and legal issues.” 

Bitxmi exchange appears on the official list of entities that are “no longer exempt pursuant to the Payment Services Regulations,” according to the MAS. Published on Wednesday, the list includes local branches of major industry player, including BitGo Singapore, Revolut Technology Singapore, South Korean blockchain firm Klaytn and others.

Another list of entities that were granted an exemption from holding a license under the Payment Services Act includes Bitstamp Limited, Coinbase Singapore, Gemini Trust and others.

MAS reportedly said that the authority wants to support crypto and blockchain adoption but it’s also willing to recognize the risks. “Cryptocurrencies could be abused for money laundering, terrorism financing or proliferation financing due to the speed and cross-border nature of the transactions,” one MAS representative reportedly…

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