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Major Australian Exchange Expands to Singapore for Crypto-Friendly Regs

Independent Reserve, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia, is expanding to Singapore after an "overwhelmingly positive" response from the regulator.

Adrian Przelozny, CEO and founder of the Sydney-based exchange, announced Friday it had expanded its trading services to users in Singapore, saying in a statement that his team "felt the time was right to make this move."

Przelozny referenced "a number of positive moves by Singaporean regulators" as part of his reasoning.

Independent Reserve offers a host of retail and institutional trading features, including a spot marketplace and over-the-counter (OTC) service. The exchange introduced insurance coverage against theft or loss of digital assets held in a client's account in February 2019.

Established in 2013, Independent Reserve claims it has more than 120,000 customers and 8,000 self-managed super funds (SMSFs), a private superannuation fund operated by its members and regulated by Australian law.

Singapore adopted an open-arms approach to cryptocurrency regulation when the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country's de facto central bank and financial regulator, created a legal framework – the 2019 Payment Services Act – that effectively brought all cryptocurrency payments providers under its jurisdiction.

The Payments Services Act was one of the main factors that influenced the Independent Reserve's decision to move to Singapore, according to Przelozny.

"Having worked closely with Australian regulators, and as the only Australian exchange to have insurance on crypto assets, the response we’ve received so far from the Singapore market has been overwhelmingly positive," Przelozny said.

A number of other exchanges, attracted to Singapore's regulatory regime, have also expressed an interest in moving to the country. Binance announced plans to set up a new fiat-to-crypto exchange in the country last year. A group of ex-Morgan Stanley bankers launched a crypto derivatives exchange in December after MAS published a proposal to regulate these types of financial products.

New Singapore users will now have access to an institutional trading platform for cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether, litecoin and XRP. Singaporean dollar trading pairs will be integrated into its platform and will operate as a wholly separate entity from the Australian-based platform, Independent Reserve confirmed.

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