Coinbase – one of the world’s largest Bitcoin ventures – has opened a retail buy-and-sell office in Singapore.
The US-based company has chosen Singapore as its first international market in Asia as it seeks to expand the use of the digital currency globally.
CEO and co-founder Brian Armstrong says Coinbase wants to make payments more open and efficient around the world.
“Expanding to Singapore is an important step towards that goal and will make it easier to access bitcoin in one of the financial capitals of the world.”
Bitcoin is a digital commodity traded on a peer-to-peer network and independent of centralised (or government) control. It has been likened to a pyramid scheme but has been accepted in principle by many governments as an alternative to currency. Singapore does not currently regulate Bitcoins, otherwise known as a ‘cryptocurrency’.
Some 40,000 retailers globally now accept Bitcoins as payment.
Singapore already has its own Bitcoin businesses, including CoinRepublic, Find Your Bitcoin (FYB), ItBit and BitX.
Coinbase is reported to have received US$106.7 million in cash in three funding rounds since its startup.
The company claims to have more than 15,000 customers in Singapore already, and more than 3.9 million globally.