Ripple Labs, a San Francisco-based blockchain payments company, has secured in-principle approval from the central bank of Singapore to offer regulated cryptocurrency products and services. The agreement allows its subsidiary, Ripple Markets APAC, to expand its On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) services, which aim to increase the efficiency of international transfers using XRP as an intermediary asset. This move comes as Ripple Labs continues to face an ongoing legal battle with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Ripple Labs has achieved an important milestone in its global operations by receiving in-principle approval from the central bank of Singapore to offer regulated cryptocurrency products and services. The agreement allows its subsidiary, Ripple Markets APAC, to measure the utilization of On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) services, a key component of blockchain-based payment networks.
The ODL service, built on top of Ripple’s distributed ledger, aims to streamline international transfers by leveraging XRP as the bridging currency. Ripple Labs’ expansion plans involve implementing ODL in around 40 payment markets worldwide, including countries such as France, Sweden, and various countries across Africa.
According to company reports, Ripple Labs sold $2.9 billion worth of XRP to customers in the last quarter for use on blockchain payment networks. In addition, the company invested $2.6 billion to purchase tokens on the secondary market during the same period.
The legal battle between Ripple Labs and the SEC started in December 2020 and is still ongoing. Despite the lawsuit, Ripple Labs revealed that it sold $14 billion worth of XRP to ODL customers in late March. The company acquired $11 billion worth of XRP from the secondary market during the same period. XRP, the sixth largest cryptocurrency by market cap, is behind tokens like USDC and Binance Coin (BNB).
While Singapore is known for its strict regulatory approach to cryptocurrencies, Ripple Labs CEO Brad Garlinghouse commends the country for providing clearer guidelines for digital asset companies. He highlighted the role of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) as a global leader in setting rules that recognize digital asset innovation and real-world utilities, recognizing their benefits to the global financial system.
The approval of Ripple Labs in Singapore follows in the footsteps of other crypto industry players. London-based exchange Blockchain.com obtained a provisional MAS license in October 2022, while Singapore-owned Crypto.com recently received its full license after provisional approval a year ago.
The US-based crypto company’s expansion into overseas markets is seen as a response to the challenging regulatory environment at home. Coinbase has expressed interest in exploring opportunities in European markets, and venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) announced plans to open its first international office in the UK earlier this month.
Ripple Labs’ in-principle approval from the central bank of Singapore is an important milestone in its mission to offer regulated cryptocurrency products and services. The agreement allows its subsidiary, Ripple Markets APAC, to expand its On-Demand Liquidity service, leveraging XRP’s potential to enhance international transfers. Despite ongoing legal challenges, Ripple Labs continues to make strategic moves globally, navigating the regulatory landscape and exploring opportunities in overseas markets. As the crypto industry develops, Ripple Labs aims to strengthen its position as a leading player in the blockchain payments sector. Singapore serves as the main strategic center for its operations.