Financial companies do well in Singapore. The city-state’s position in Asia is a solid one, and it looks to overtake Switzerland as the world’s wealth capital.
Enter GoCoin, a Singapore-based Bitcoin payment processor, whose private beta is set to launch at the end of summer.
GoCoin’s CEO, Steve Beauregard, a Californian, suggested that Singapore’s business-friendly climate and talent resources make it an ideal place to launch such a startup.
And with so many Bitcoin startups concentrating around the Bay Area or Berlin, it made sense to Beauregard to go where the competition is not. It also happens to be a place with a lot of money.
This does not mean, however, Singapore is going to welcome Bitcoin entrepreneurs with open arms. Already, the country’s Monetary Authority issued a warning to traders to “be wary,” as the currency obscures the identities of individual traders.
Regulation may come to Singapore yet.
In the meantime, many Singaporeans are fluent in tech, and local merchants quickly grasp the benefits of processing Bitcoin payments. GoCoin already has a handful of merchants for its beta, Beauregard said.
Singapore itself has one of the highest standards of living in Asia, and millionaires are densely concentrated in the city. Some $450 billion in offshore assets are managed in Singapore (read: it’s a convenient place for many Chinese to expatriate some of their wealth).
Beauregard is one of many expats swelling the tiny country’s population, thanks in large part to its regulatory environment (as well as abundant sunshine and street food).
In the years ahead, as China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia continue to grow powerful economies, Singapore will be well positioned to play wealth manager.