Popular Bitcoin wallet and exchange service Coinbase has entered the Asian market for the first time today and expanded its global payment service to Singapore.
Singaporeans can now buy and sell Bitcoin investments via online local banking transfers.
“Singapore is one of those financial capitals of the world that is really exciting for us. We actually looked into a few [financial capitals], and I hope we will be able to launch in all of them eventually,” said Brian Armstrong, Founder and CEO of Coinbase.
Armstrong explained the process: When Coinbase invests in a new country, it follows a playbook and looks for important features — such as finding a local payment method that is usable for the average person. Additionally, it is important to lock-down the regulatory environment and work with the local legal council. Depending on the country, a translation component may be required.
“A lot of times when you are working on expanding into new countries, it isn’t dictated by where you want to launch first, it is actually where you can find good partners [as well as] the local regulatory environment. So often times, it is not so much the order that we would choose to launch in, it is the order when we could get those boxes checked,” Armstrong added.
The numbers game
Today continued the aggressive expansion push by Coinbase in 2015.
The payments platform began the year with presence in 19 countries and the move into Singapore has brought the current total to 28. Armstrong said that the company hopes to be in 40 countries by the end of the year.