US crypto exchange Coinbase has opted to make strategic investments in Zipmex, a digital asset exchange based in Singapore.
Early this year, Coinbase was planning to acquire Zipmex. But local media reported that the US platform has signed a term sheet committing to make an investment in Zipmex.
Zipmex is currently looking to raise US$40 million in series B+ funding later this year at a valuation of US$400 million.
Launched in 2018, Zipmex has already bagged some $52 million in Series B funding — $41 million raised in September 2021 while $11 million in March this year. The exchange planned to use the funding to expand its presence across Southeast Asia.
Zipmex’s existing investors MindWorks Capital, Master Ad, Bank of Ayudhya’s Krungsri Finnovate, V Ventures, TNB Aura, and B Capital.
Zipmex is headquartered in Singapore and has offices in Indonesia, Thailand, and Australia.
Keeping Pace with Industry Transformations
Coinbase could have increased its footprint in Singapore through the acquisition of Zipmex. But the crypto crash has forced the exchange to rethink its expansion plans.
Earlier this month, Coinbase announced a withdrawal of some job offers and paused hiring indefinitely. The exchange said that the decision is because of the ongoing global economic downturn and the current macro environment coupled with volatility in the crypto market.
Singapore is a major financial hub that has witnessed an increase in crypto adoption. About 93% of its population has moderate insights into the crypto industry and investors looking to invest in reliable crypto exchanges in the country.
Coinbase is one of the best crypto exchanges in Singapore, including Crypto.com, Capital.com, Independent Reserve, and Zipmex.
While Singapore is seeking to cement itself as a key player in crypto-related businesses, its Central Bank (the Monetary Authority of Singapore – MAS) has been putting in place “strong regulations”, so firms that meet its requirements and address risks can operate.
In the country, crypto exchanges must be supervised and licensed under the city-state’s Payment Services Act, mainly for terrorism financing and money laundering risks.
Over 500 companies applied for approval to offer crypto services in Singapore, but only a few have received a full license, while more than 100 firms have either been turned down or withdrawn their applications.
In spite of stricter regulations, investment in the blockchain and crypto sector in Singapore increased tenfold last year. In 2021, Singapore saw 82 deals worth a combined $1.48 billion, according to a KPMG fintech report.
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