The cryptocurrency ecosystem has boomed in the last few years due to enormous interest from investors. Rapid innovation and the transformative economic potential of tokenisation and distributed ledgers has brought forth various cryptocurrency-related service providers, including:

  • Crypto exchanges: providing a marketplace for the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies.
  • Crypto payment providers: allowing merchants to accept payments in cryptocurrencies.
  • Crypto lending platforms: using smart contracts to automate loan payouts and yields; where users can receive a loan automatically by depositing collateral and meeting requirements.
  • Crypto custodians and wallet providers: providing secure storage for digital assets, and facilitating the sending and receiving of cryptocurrencies.

In Singapore, firms that provide any services of dealing in cryptocurrencies (known as digital payment tokens) or facilitating the exchange of cryptocurrencies are regulated under the Payment Services Act administered by the MAS. Whilst the regulator strongly discourages cryptocurrency speculation especially by retail investors, the MAS, recognises the potential in this space and remains keen to build an innovative and responsible digital asset ecosystem in Singapore.

In Hong Kong, for platforms that offer trading of at least one security-type virtual assets (VAs), they will need to be licensed by the SFC. In addition, the new VA Service Provider regime starting from 1 June 2023 will require all centralised VA Trading Platforms carrying on business in Hong Kong, or actively marketing their services to Hong Kong investors be licensed by the SFC. For VA custodians and wallet providers, they would need to obtain a Trust and Company Service Provider licence from the Companies Registry in Hong Kong to provide custodian services.

How we help cryptocurrency firms

We understand that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work when you have a broad range of regulatory challenges. We pride ourselves on treating every client individually, and providing practical and commercial advice across all areas of financial regulation.


From our offices in the UK, EU, US, Singapore and Hong Kong, we can help new firms all the way from concept to licensing.

Global footprint

We assist established firms in growing their global presence, by helping them to navigate the complex rules across different jurisdictions.

Compliance support

We partner with our clients to meet their local compliance obligations, through ongoing compliance advisory, implementation support, focused compliance reviews, and short-term resourcing.

Regulatory perimeter guidance

We help clients involved in crypto activities understand what regulatory permissions they require to support current or future strategic plans. We can also help apply for additional regulatory permissions required.

Financial Crime

We help firms to meet their AML/CFT obligations and ensure strong controls are in place. We can do this by preparing key AML/CFT documentation including, AML/CFT risk assessments, frameworks, policies and procedures.