Crypto in Singapore

Crypto in Singapore

The state of Cryptocurrency in Singapore. By: @Larry Peng

🏦 Finance Hub

Singapore has long played an integral role as a traditional trade and finance hub in East and Southeast Asia, with a sizable GDP of $396.99 billion in contrast to the area the city state inhabits. While its position as a trade hub in the heart of Asia has helped cement the growth of its economy, its policy has made it a hotspot for business.

Singapore is ranked first in the world within the Heritage Foundation’s 2022 Index of Economic Freedom. This index measures the ease for individuals to do business and engage in economic activity within a nation, where higher ranked nations have legislation that is more conducive to economic opportunity, freedom, and prosperity.

Singapore has notably high scores for Property Rights, Trade Freedom, and Monetary Freedom. In contrast to its neighbors and their more stringent policies for economic activity (China is ranked 158, India 131, Indonesia 63), Singapore serves as an attractive alternative within the region. This trend of economic freedom is also true for Singapore’s role within the world of Decentralized Finance.

Now with DeFi…

📈 Highs

Solidus Lab ranks Singapore as 10th in its Global Crypto Regulation Index for its clear regulatory framework and legal recognition of digital assets despite not classifying Cryptocurrencies as legal tender.

These regulations pale in comparison to those of its neighbors China (ranked 42) which has banned all Crypto activities and India (ranked 41) which does not yet have a comprehensive regulatory framework.

Solidus Labs Global Crypto Regulation Index
Solidus Labs Global Crypto Regulation Index

Regulatory advantages combined with existing financial presence has pushed Singapore to be a burgeoning hotspot for Web3 in Asia and the world, ranking first in Coincub’s Q1 2021 Global Crypto Ranking for crypto friendly economies.

📉 Lows

Coincub Q3 2022 Global Crypto Ranking
Coincub Q3 2022 Global Crypto Ranking

However, recent Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) restrictions on crypto payments licensing, general public advertising bans, and aversion to retail crypto trading has led it to drop to fifth in the same ranking for Q3 2022.

This is also reflected in the Chainalysis 2022 Global Cryptocurrency Adoption Index that only ranks Singapore as 63 for grassroots adoption 🙁.


Despite recent regulatory moves, Singapore is still a prominent Crypto economy.

Coincub estimates Crypto ownership among the Singapore population to be 9.4% while Finder suggests an even higher ownership percentage of 19%.

Like many other nations, enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies among the youth is also high, with an estimated 56% of holders under the age of 34. Although ownership gender-distribution has room for improvement.

Finder Cryptocurrency Adoption Index
Finder Cryptocurrency Adoption Index

Enthusiasm among youth is further reinforced by Singapore educational institutions, where the National University of Singapore is ranked second and the Nanyang Technological University is ranked tenth in Coindesk’s 2022 Universities for Blockchain ranking for research output and campus blockchain offerings. Thats two in the top ten 🤯.

CoinDesk Best Universities for Blockchain 2022
CoinDesk Best Universities for Blockchain 2022

This seems to also translate into its burgeoning Web3 startup environment ($100 million pledged NGC Metaverse Ventures, $516 million from Insignia Ventures Partners, and more).

🔎  Explore some of the up and coming Web3 startups coming out of Singapore here:

⌛ Future

While the MAS discourages general retail crypto trading, a major Singapore financial institution ADDX has recently recognized cryptocurrency as a factor for granting “accredited investor” status that allows greater access to financial products and fewer regulatory safeguards.

This massively legitimizes cryptocurrencies and opens the path for HODLers to get more perks and gain access to risky and unlisted securities 💸.


You can learn more about the specifics here While ADDX is a private entity, it is heavily regulated by the MAS and this move may be indicative of governmental sentiments.

However, improvements can still be made. This move only recognizes three cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH, USDC) to count for net personal asset, but only at 50% value for BTC/ETH but 90% value for USDC. While hesitancy is understandable due to the volatility of many currencies, the lack of a wider range of stable coins and even more risky/speculative coins limits many crypto holds from gaining this status.

🤔🗯️ Takeaways

Overall, Singapore plays an important role in the world of Crypto as a hub for innovation and financial activity (especially in Asia). While grassroots adoption and retail trading falls flat, Singapore is a ripe ground for Web3 among institutional traders, venture capitalists, higher ed institutions, and entrepreneurs.