Diginex launches new Singapore cryptoexchange ahead of Nasdaq listing

Bitcoin, cryptocurrency & electronic finance

Nasdaq-hopeful Diginex launched a new cryptocurrency exchange focused on derivative products in Singapore on Thursday, where it has applied for a licence.

The new exchange, EQUOS.io, will be based Singapore rather than Hong Kong, from where Diginex operates much of its other business.

Diginex Chief Executive Richard Byworth said the Southeast Asian city-state’s regulatory environment made it a more suitable location for the exchange than Hong Kong.

Authorities globally are grappling with whether and how to regulate cryptocurrency companies, some of which say they wish to be regulated to show their legitimacy to cryptocurrency investors.

“Singapore was a bit more flexible in the way that they were thinking about things,” Byworth told Reuters.

Hong Kong’s opt-in licencing regime for cryptocurrency exchanges, launched last year, does not allow the trade of derivatives products, and its top markets regulator said cryptocurrency futures contracts may be illegal.

The new exchange will provide cryptocurrency spot trading as well as more complex products.

“On the more interesting edge of (cryptocurrency)derivatives, we have seen a more limited product set to come to market because we are constrained by the infrastructure,” said Byworth, adding that he hoped the new exchange would plug these infrastructure gaps.

In contrast to Hong Kong, Singapore’s new payments rules require cryptocurrency companies operating in the city to be licenced, but it is less prescriptive about their operating model.

Over 150 cryptocurrency companies that were previously operating in Singapore, including Diginex, have had to apply for licences by 28 July.

Diginex is in the process of listing on the Nasdaq through a $300 million reverse merger with special acquisition vehicle 8i Enterprises.

The deal has already received SEC approval. Byworth said the effective listing date should be in mid- to late September.

Coinbase, the operator of one of the world’s most established cryptocurrency exchanges, is considering a direct U.S. listing later this year or early next year, Reuters reported this month.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.