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Exchanges Round-Up: Coinbundle Approved for Licensing in PH, MAS to Review Regulations, Okex Suspends Withdrawals
In recent news relating to cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbundle has received approval for licensing in The Philippines, the Monetary Authority of Singapore has issued a consultation paper regarding its intention to update its regulatory apparatus for cryptocurrency exchanges, and Okex has announced that it has remedied the error that caused it abruptly to suspend withdrawals and fiat trading yesterday.
Coinbundle Receives Approval for Licensing in The Philippines
Saad Rizvi, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Coinbundle, recently met with the National Secretary of the Philippines to finalize the exchange’s registration through CEZA, the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority – a special economic zone offering a number of tax incentives to companies operating in the country’s emerging fintech industry.
“This agreement is a huge win for CoinBundle and will enable us to go to market rapidly and help our users to begin saving and investing. We’re also excited to contribute to the fintech ecosystem of the Philippines and create new jobs here,” Mr. Rizvi said.
Coinbundle is one of fifteen fintech, blockchain, and cryptocurrency companies that are set to invest in CEZA, alongside Hachiman Technology Sdn BHD, MX Exchange Ventures, IPE Global PTE, Inc. Superieur Tech Pte. Ltd., CSM, Madison Blockchain Strategy Investment Company Ltd., Asia Pacific Blockchain Association, Pacificnet Strategic Investments Ltd., SuperAngels Ventures Ltd., and ANX International.
CEZA administrator, Raul Lambino, has welcomed the partnerships, stating: “Working with virtual currency companies allows the Philippines to gain momentum in providing an environment that encourages financial innovation and inclusion, while ensuring that the best interests of the country, the financial system, consumers, and investors are adequately protected. This new development aims to drive the economy forward by creating employment opportunities and boosting job growth. The Philippines will be ready to provide cryptocurrency companies operating here with the manpower they need for their businesses.”
Singapore Expected To Ease Exchange Regulations
The emergence of new trends in trading platforms and technologies, including those pertaining to decentralized and cryptocurrency exchanges, has prompted the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to re-evaluate its legislative apparatus governing the regulation of exchanges.
In a consultation paper issued by the financial regulator, MAS states that it has “observed the emergence of new business models in trading platforms, including trading facilities that make use of blockchain technology, or platforms that allow peer-to-peer trading without the involvement of intermediaries. As the current [recognized market operators (RMO)] regime has been in place since 2002, it is timely to review the regulatory framework for market operators to ensure that it continues to meet the demands of the changing landscape.”
The consultation proposes developing a three-tiered RMO regulatory regime for market operators, and “invites comments from all financial institutions and other interested parties.”
Okex Suspends Withdrawals After Users Experience Glitches
Okex, the third largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, suspended withdrawal and fiat trading services on the 22nd of May, following reports from users that their accounts had suddenly displayed enormous balances.
Several users posted snapshots displaying balances that had appeared to suddenly accrue balances of more than 15,000 BTC (over $110 million USD), and other users reported that transfers in USDT were not deducting the sent tokens from their balance, however, the transferred funds were successfully received by the recipient. Abnormal cryptocurrency prices were also reported, with BTC suddenly appearing to have abruptly dropped to $6,002, and ETH suddenly jumping up to $736.
Okex posted an announcement stating “Due to a technical error, the account balances of a few of our users are not displayed accurately. Of course, you can rest assured that your funds are safe, secured, and not affected by the recent update. We are currently fixing the issue and have suspended withdrawal service and fiat trading.”
As of this writing, Okex’s most recent announcement states that “Fixing of the database error [is] already completed, but we are currently still verifying the data and records of our users. Withdrawal and fiat trading are estimated to resume at approximately 17:00 May 23 (Hong Kong time). Please rest assured that your funds are safe and secured.”
Do you think that more financial regulators should follow in the steps of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and update their guidelines in consideration of the cryptocurrency revolution? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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