SBI Holdings invests in Singapore crypto exchange Coinhako

Coinhako received regulatory approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore just a month before the SBI funding.

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 Swiss-based Sygnum Bank, namely, the SBI-Sygnum-Azimut Digital Asset Opportunity (DAO) Fund, according to the notice.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, a 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 (DPT) services, the same license application that Binance withdrew on Dec. 13. 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 distributed ledger technology.

Related: Singapore suspends exchange Bitget’s license over K-pop coin promotion

The Monetary Authority of Singapore suspended the license of Bitget after the digital asset platform listed a K-pop-related cryptocurrency, Army Coin (ARMY).

Source: Facebook screenshot

As Cointelegraph reported, the listing and promotion of ARMY reportedly violated the boy band’s intellectual property rights without permission. Going on the offensive, the crypto exchange claimed to have licenses in other jurisdictions such as Australia, Canada and the United States, as it announced:

“We are currently looking into the legal violations in this case, including the cryptocurrency’s infringement on our artists’ portrait rights without permission from or discussion with the agency. We will take legal action against all infringements and violations.”