Crypto exchange Coinbase ties up with StanChart in Singapore for free fund transfers

Coinbase’s partnership with Standard Chartered in Singapore will allow the crypto exchange's users to make and receive real-time payments. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE – US-listed crypto exchange Coinbase Global is partnering Standard Chartered in Singapore to provide its users with an option to move funds between any lender and the cryptocurrency exchange, at a time when banking options for digital token service providers are dwindling.

Under the arrangement, Coinbase users can transfer Singapore dollars to and from the platform for free, via any local bank in the country, Coinbase said in a statement on Wednesday. Standard Chartered will offer that connection to on- and off-ramp their money, Coinbase Singapore country director Hassan Ahmed said in an interview.

The timing in clinching a new banking partner is noteworthy as several crypto firms, asset managers and hedge funds are struggling to replace such links in the United States after the turmoil in the financial sector there in the past week. 

“For banking integration in particular, definitely I’d say the backdrop is sort of a little interesting and in contrast,” Mr Ahmed said.

Discussions with Standard Chartered were going on before the collapse of three US banks in the past week, he said.

Silvergate Capital said last week it would wind down, and this was followed by the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, a backdrop that spurred US officials to introduce a new backstop to shield deposits.

The loss of Silvergate and Signature is particularly severe for digital assets as they operated real-time, seven-days-a-week payment networks for the crypto industry, facilitating the flow of money to and from the sector.

Coinbase’s partnership with Standard Chartered will allow users to make and receive real-time payments and also let the exchange automatically reconcile user accounts, said Mr Ankur Kanwar, head of cash products for Singapore and Asean at Standard Chartered. 

The US crypto exchange received in-principle approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore in 2022, and is now working on additional conditions needed to get a final licence in the city state, Mr Ahmed said. BLOOMBERG

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