The Labuan Financial Services Authority in the Federal Territory of Labuan, Malaysia has granted Fasset three separate full authorizations to commence its digital asset business operations. This is Fasset’s first full licensing outside of the Middle East as part of its plans to expand to Southeast Asia.
“Labuan, Malaysia has been a rising fintech hub within Southeast Asia and saw a record number of 46 fintech licenses approved in 2020 — including three digital banks and 19 crypto trading platform providers. From the launch of the first insured bitcoin fund for Southeast Asia to Huobi’s venture into Labuan, some of the most prominent and exciting digital asset projects have established their base in Southeast Asia through Labuan. The territory has also been a key contributor to Islamic finance, encouraging the digitalization of Islamic social finance instruments and developing Islamic fintech to drive greater financial inclusion and raise digital solutions within the region,” Fasset Founder and CEO Mohammad Raafi Hossain told Digital Life Asia.
Fintech hub for innovation
“With its fintech-friendly and progressive regulations, Labuan is a thriving fintech hub within the Southeast Asia region and a gateway into the Asia Pacific market. Our licensing in Labuan will enable us to access more than 180 different jurisdictions — providing ample opportunities to accelerate our venture into Southeast Asia and serve a greater pool of digital asset users in the region,” Hossain said.
UK-headquartered Fasset is a digital asset gateway and provider of tokenization services for sustainable infrastructure assets.
“Labuan serves as a hotbed for innovation within the region, attracting some of the most globally sought-after projects in the emerging technologies space. We are proud to remain a chosen hub for financial and technological innovation for trailblazing firms like Fasset, many of whom elect to base their Southeast Asian operations from our shores. We believe that by supporting these innovative businesses, we not only strengthen Malaysia, but Southeast Asia collectively,” said Labuan International Business and Financial Centre CEO Farah Jaafar-Crossby in a press statement commenting on Fasset’s licensing.
Malaysia as gateway to SEA
Asked why he believes the time is ripe for the company to expand to Southeast Asia, Hossain replied: “Home to one of the largest pools of crypto users in the world, Southeast Asia’s digital asset trading volumes have boomed in recent months and crypto deal value and counts have tracked a favorable trajectory to either meet or surpass 2020’s activity. Furthermore, with the establishment of the Asean Blockchain Consortium earlier this year, we will likely see greater opportunities for cross-border collaboration and the development of more blockchain and digital asset projects that will further tech innovation within the region. With crypto’s growing acceptance amongst retail and institutional investors, as well as government bodies and regulators within Southeast Asia, this is an opportune moment for many digital asset upstarts like Fasset to tap into a thriving emerging market and further the maturation of digital asset innovation.”
Hossain told Digital Life Asia that Indonesia is another key market that Fasset is eyeing in the region.
“As the most populous Muslim-majority country in the world, the nation stands as an opportunity for Fasset to drive the development of fintech and blockchain innovation and tap into Indonesia’s nascent Sharia-compliant digital asset market. With limited Sharia-compliant crypto options within the country, Indonesia’s rapidly developing digital asset market is an untapped potential.
With the rising interest in digital assets, the country has seen a growing number of crypto investors in recent years, recording over Rp 22.67 trillion in crypto transactions in 2020. Additionally, with a smartphone penetration rate of 70.05 percent in Indonesia, and a projected 125 million more internet users by 2025, there are ample growth opportunities in the digital assets sector for Fasset to tap into,” he said.