Bitcoin users in Singapore can now purchase and sell the digital currency via Coinbase.
The popular Bitcoin exchange, with around $106 million worth of funds in its pockets, has marked its entry into Southeast Asia. The announcement is quickly followed by its expansion to Canada a couple of days back.
CEO Brian Armstrong earlier admitted that Coinbase is looking forward to expand its business territory to around 30 countries. As he indicates, the company’s focus remains on cornering both developed and developing Bitcoin markets around the globe. Singapore marks their first venture outside the North American and European markets.
The decision further helps Coinbase in reaping benefits from the innovative regulatory climate of Singapore. The country has shown a remarkable stand when it comes to supporting the disruptive payment technologies. Many Bitcoin startups in the past have made Singapore their home, for it brings fair and lenient regulations for them.
What’s further exciting is the nation’s reputation as one of the world’s leading financial capitals. Particularly in Southeast Asia, Singapore is known for its transparent and efficient banking infrastructure. This makes it a great business haven for many of the emerging markets like Philippines, India, Thailand, Indonesia, and others.
“Singapore represents an important market for us,” Coinbase’s international expansion lead David Farmer explained to Tech In Asia. “To date, more than 15,000 people in Singapore have signed up for a Coinbase Wallet, and by extending our buy and sell service to the country, we’re helping to make their on-ramp to the Bitcoin world as simple and as safe as possible moving forward.”
Targeting Remittance Market?
Singapore is already hosting a number of decently-funded Bitcoin startups. Among them are the exchanges like Bitcoin Exchange Singapore, itBit, BitX and Coin Republic. All of these startups are somewhat involved in offering cheap and speedy cross-border money transaction alternatives to people, considering Singapore is the home to many foreigners sending and receiving money to/from abroad.
Coinbase, too, is hoping to hack a noticeable market share of this emerging Bitcoin remittance market in Southeast Asia. Farmer adds:
“Our mission at Coinbase is to make payments more open and efficient around the world. Expanding to places like North America and Europe has been a solid foundation for us to fulfill that mission, but this move into Asia [is] especially exciting for us, as it marks the first time that Coinbase has been able to fully service consumers in this massive market.”