Coinbase Global Inc. has joined with Standard Chartered in Singapore to provide its users an option to move funds between any lender and the cryptocurrency exchange at a time when banking options for digital token service providers are dwindling.
Under the arrangement, Coinbase users can transfer Singapore dollars to and from the platform via any local bank in the country for free, Coinbase said in a statement Wednesday. Standard Chartered will offer that connection to on- and off-ramp their money, Hassan Ahmed, country director for Coinbase Singapore, said in an interview.
The timing to clinch a new banking partner is noteworthy as several crypto firms, asset managers and hedge funds are struggling to replace such links in the US after the turmoil in the financial sector there in the past week.
“For banking integration in particular, definitely I’d say that the backdrop is sort of a little interesting and in contrast,” Ahmed said. Discussions with Standard Chartered were going on before the collapse of three US banks in the past week, he said.
Silvergate Capital Corp. said last week that it would wind down, followed by the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and then Signature Bank, a backdrop that spurred US officials to introduce a new backstop to shield deposits. The loss of Silvergate and Signature is particularly severe for digital assets as they operated real-time, seven-days-a-week payment networks for the crypto industry, facilitating the flow of money to and from the sector.
Coinbase’s partnership with Standard Chartered will allow users to make and receive real-time payments and also allow the exchange to automatically reconcile user accounts, Ankur Kanwar, head of cash products for Singapore and ASEAN at Standard Chartered, said in the statement.
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The US crypto exchange got an in-principle approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore last year, and is now working on additional conditions needed to get a final license in the city state, Ahmed said.
Shares of Coinbase have jumped about 77% so far this year, after tumbling 86% in 2022.