MAS grants regulatory approval to digital asset exchange AsiaNext

As of 6 September 2023, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has officially licensed AsiaNext as a Recognised Market Operator (RMO).

The digital asset exchange tailored exclusively to institutions will serve as a venue for banks, family offices, asset managers, broker dealers, prime brokers, hedge funds and market makers seeking to engage in digital assets.

The license allows AsiaNext to operate an organised market for securities and collective investment schemes and sits alongside its in-principle approval Capital Markets Services (CMS) licence from MAS granted on 14 June 2023. 

The license highlights AsiaNext’s stringent compliance and risk management standards, as well as Singapore’s unwavering commitment to building an innovative and responsible digital asset ecosystem.

Chief Executive Officer of AsiaNext, Chong Kok Kee says, “We are elated to have received the full RMO licence from MAS this week. Since our inception, the team has worked tirelessly to construct an institutional-grade exchange based on stringent compliance and risk management standards that govern our entire organisation as well as the multi-asset classes that will be traded on our venue.

We view this recognition by MAS as a positive shift in the industry, where firms that are able to responsibly contribute to a safe digital asset ecosystem can now realise their ambitions for the mainstream adoption of digital assets.”

AsiaNext’s Chief Compliance Officer, Chua Kah Hau affirms the company’s commitment to high standards of corporate governance, stating, “We remain steadfast in our dedication to upholding the highest standards of regulatory compliance and corporate governance.”

Our aim is to provide a fair, orderly and transparent marketplace where institutional investors can realise the benefits of digital assets with confidence.” 

Recognising a growing institutional appetite for trading digital assets as well as a scarcity of regulated and secure venues to meet this demand, SBI Digital Asset Holdings and SIX Group forged a joint-venture in 2021 to launch AsiaNext as an institutional-grade digital exchange. With both RMO and CMS (in-principle) licences now in hand, AsiaNext is ready to provide integrated listing, trading, and post-trade services for digital assets.

“The regulatory environment in Singapore is favourable for fintech firms, which is why we have selected it as the headquarters for AsiaNext. The nation’s commitment to fostering innovation and worldwide recognition of Singapore’s economic potential as a global digital asset trading hub have been pivotal factors in our decision,” remarked Fernando Luis Vázquez Cao, CEO, SBI Digital Asset Holdings. SBI Digital Asset Holdings is participating in Project Guardian, a collaborative initiative amongst leading finance firms, spearheaded by MAS.