Coinbase, a global Bitcoin major player, and one of the largest US-based Bitcoin ventures, has launched retail buy-and-sell operations in Singapore as part of its business expansion and strategic objective of growing the usage of the digital currency globally.
However, the Bitcoin situation in Singapore can be considered an erratic one as Bitcoin ATMs appear and vanish in strategic spots in the metro.
In this particular industry, Coinbase is considered the market leader, alongside its other major firms like BitPay and Bitfinex.
Singapore-based firms that will face increased competition BitX and Find Your Bitcoin (FYB) Singapore. To date, Coinbase has raised US$106.7 million across three funding rounds.
What is it about Singapore that attracts these investments? Well, Singapore can be considered a very strong financial center in the heart of Asia.
In Singapore, the money transfer service will permit consumers to trade bitcoin with Singapore dollars. Currently, the city-state does not regulate the cryptocurrency. Due to this, there are no requirements for any permission from the authorities.
It’s also regarded Coinbase’s first foray into Asian regions, according to Brian Armstrong, the company’s CEO and co-founder.
In an official release, the company commented: “Our mission at Coinbase is to make payments more open and efficient around the world.
Expanding to Singapore is an important step towards that goal and will make it easier to access bitcoin in one of the financial capitals of the world.”
David Farmer, the international expansion lead at Coinbase, considers Singapore as an important market for the company, despite its limited space. Farmer said, “As one of the fastest-growing financial capitals in the world, Singapore represents an important market for us.”
Farmer also stated, “To date, more than 15,000 people in Singapore have signed up for a Coinbase Wallet, and by extending our buy and sell service to the country, we’re helping to make their on-ramp to the bitcoin world as simple and as safe as possible moving forward.
About a year ago, we made a decision to offer bitcoin services to as many countries in the world, That would be an aggressive goal. So we may end up 2015 with 30-40 countries.”
At present, Coinbase operates in 28 countries. Singapore’s financial regulators prefer to regulate virtual currency intermediaries, citing public security as their leading concern.
In addition to expanding into the Asia Pacific via its establishment of a Singapore office, Coinbase also launched retail and professional trading services through its Canadian exchange.
No doubt that more friction will be done by Coinbase, and analysts reckon that the lion city is just the first stop.
About the Author: Jay-R Gatdula is the Business Development Manager of Coin News Asia, a cryptocurrency news website catering to Asian markets with focus on startups, exchanges, and igaming. Mr. Gatdula is currently involved with a number of projects in the Bitcoin ecosystem and cyber security.