Wirex joins UK trade mission to Singapore Fintech Festival
Asia has once again demonstrated its place as a top destination for FinTech collaboration, as crowds gathered at the ‘Singapore Fintech Festival’ late last month. Wirex CEO, Pavel Matveev was at hand to share his thoughts with scores of senior cryptocurrency, blockchain and FinTech leaders from around the world.
Singapore is a high growth economy with increasingly high rates of FinTech adoption and tech savvy citizens. According to a recent study by EY, the rate of FinTech uptake in Singapore is expected to rise to 56% because of government initiatives to position the country as a key FinTech hub and friendly regulatory environment.
Wirex has been operating in Asia since it first begun trading in 2014. Indeed, a high proportion of its $1 bn transactions to date stem from Asian customers, who are often the company’s most prolific and higher value customers.
The UK government’s Department for International Trade (DIT) asked Wirex to join them on its Singapore trade mission, as a high profile British company working at the coalface of cryptocurrencies.
Asia has been a particular focus for the UK government recently. In September, the DIT’s International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, met with Hiroshige Seko, Japanese minister of economy, trade and industry, to initiate a new trade and investment working group, and an agreement that the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will form the basis of future UK-Japan bilateral trade.
At the time Mr. Fox said, “The UK has a world leading FinTech sector and Wirex is a strong example of a UK business taking advantage of the global trading opportunities available to them as they grow, encouraging investment and creating jobs.”
With Wirex’s Asian headquarters now firmly established in Tokyo and its new Asia CEO, Wataru Kojima in place, Singapore is set to benefit from much higher levels of support and country specific services.
Wirex’s increased investment in Singapore comes at a time likely to see further cryptocurrency participation in the country. On 1 August 2017, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), provided guidance about how initial coin offerings (ICO’s) should be regulated and general guidance on the application of the securities laws administered by MAS in relation to offers or issues of ‘digital tokens’ in Singapore. The regulatory body is also developing ‘simpler to use and more efficient alternatives to today’s systems based on digital central bank issued tokens’. It’s ‘Project Ubin’ intends to work with industry to investigate Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) for clearing and settlement of payments and securities.
Pavel Matveev, Wirex CEO said, “Singapore has long been an important country for Wirex as we have a large following there. The number of Singaporeans requesting a simple means to both buy and spend Bitcoin has been sharply rising too.
“It makes a lot of sense for Wirex to offer even more services to Singapore and Asia customers than we are doing so already. That’s why I find myself spending much more time in country as well as hiring more staff to provide Singapore specific needs”, he said.
Singapore’s FinTech Festival may have concluded but Wirex welcomes the conversation to continue. Delegates shared innovative ideas about opportunities to collaborate on wide ranging issues in the world of cryptocurrencies and FinTech. Keep the conversation going and email Wirex’s CEO with your ideas and suggestions.