Tokyo-based financial services giant SBI Holdings announced a joint investment in Coinhako, Singapore’s first licensed crypto exchange approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). 

The Coinhako investment was made via a fund jointly set up by SBI and Switzerland-based Sygnum Bank, namely, the SBI-Sygnum-Azimut Digital Asset Opportunity Fund, according to the notice.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, an MAS spokesperson highlighted the importance of seeking licensing approvals for crypto businesses:

“MAS’ approach to regulation under the Payment Services Act seeks to facilitate innovation while ensuring that adequate controls are in place to address key risks such as money laundering and terrorism financing.”

Coinhako became the first crypto-asset exchange from Singapore to get in-principle approval from MAS to conduct Digital Payment Token services, the same license application that Binance withdrew on Monday. In this regard, MAS spokesperson told Cointelegraph:

“Applicants are able to withdraw their applications should they see fit, upon which those who are operating under the exemption will be required to cease providing regulated payment services. Binance Asia Services has provided MAS with a plan for the orderly cessation of its regulated payment services.”

With SBI’s fund infusion and a pre-existing international network, Coinhako plans to “expand our business to other countries in Southeast Asia while being based in Singapore.” According to SBI, the fund will be co-managed by both parties involved with a focus on financial market infrastructure and…

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