DEC 22, 2023
Moomoo adds more cowbell with MAS license approval
Moomoo Financial Singapore has received in-principle approval for a major payment institution license from local regulator and central bank the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
The milestone marks the firm’s first step on its journey towards full regulatory approval in the city-state. According to a report by The Straits Times, the company announced its licensing achievement on Wednesday, which makes it the first digital broker of its kind in Singapore to attain this initial licensing accreditation.
With in-principle approval under its belt, Moomoo will work towards extending its crypto services to both retail and institutional investors within the country. The firm had been working towards licensing approval since May 2021 when it submitted its initial licensing application to the regulator.
Currently, over a dozen firms covering various crypto-related trading activities, have obtained full licenses for digital payment token services in Singapore. In Moomoo’s case, the business markets itself as an all-in-one trading platform which includes a financial information app. Trading on the app is offered on a commission-free basis.
Part of Moomoo’s strategy involves the promotion of financial inclusion, unlocking it through the use of innovative technologies. It’s with that intention that it is leaning heavily upon the use of artificial intelligence and big data, while incorporating a crypto trading product offering. Moomoo Singapore CEO Gavin Chia spoke to that approach recently, stating:
“We will continue leveraging technology to deliver a unique investing experience, empowering investors to build their knowledge and refine their portfolios for a financially secure tomorrow, starting today.”
In light of this latest licensing success, Chia acknowledged the rising interest in digital payment token trading on their platform. Moomoo Singapore, a subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed Futu Holdings, was established in March 2021. Futu Holdings, in turn, is backed by Chinese tech giant Tencent, and it has positioned Moomoo Financial Singapore to play a significant role in the evolving cryptocurrency landscape within the region.
Alongside Moomoo, Futu promotes its Futubull trading platform through its Chinese hub in Hong Kong. Last month, it emerged that subsidiary company PantherTrade, a Hong Kong-based entity, is in the process of preparing a license application in the Chinese autonomous territory.
Singapore’s crypto potential
Moomoo Financial Singapore’s acquisition of in-principle approval is in anticipation of Singapore becoming a major cryptocurrency hub in Asia. This growth is attributed to the MAS’s efforts in establishing Singapore as a digital asset hub. Singapore’s crypto-friendly environment is demonstrated by a significant surge in cryptocurrency and blockchain investments, reaching $1.2 billion in 2022 compared to $109.75 million in 2020, according to Statista.
In a survey conducted by Swiss crypto bank Sygnum involving more than 150 global institutional investors, those in Singapore showcased a tendency to view cryptocurrencies as a long-term investment. Additionally, Moomoo Financial Singapore highlighted a report by PwC Singapore and the Singapore Fintech Association, suggesting that the payments industry seems to be the most developed area within Singapore’s fintech landscape.
As Singapore continues to embrace cryptocurrencies and blockchain, Moomoo Financial Singapore’s pending license adds to the expanding ecosystem, signaling a growing recognition of the importance of digital assets in the financial sector.