Singapore Plans to Broaden Crypto Regulations After Shakeout

Singapore Plans to Broaden Crypto Regulations After Shakeout
  • Singapore is a popular location for cryptocurrency companies.
  • Recent market events clearly demonstrated the risks with prices of several cryptocurrencies dipping significantly.
  • Singapore’s government plans to tighten restrictions on retail investment in cryptocurrencies.

Following a string of difficulties including Terra 3AC Babel Vauld, the Singapore government plans to tighten restrictions on retail investment in cryptocurrencies, aligning with global authorities and expanding regulation coverage.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a statement that the new measures are intended to “strengthen investor protection and safeguard the integrity of the financial system”. Singapore is a popular location for cryptocurrency companies due to a comparatively clear regulatory and operating environment and is among the forerunners globally in developing a formal licensing framework. 

Under the new regulations, MAS will treat cryptocurrencies as commodities and regulate them under the Securities and Futures Act. Businesses dealing in digital currencies will have to comply with anti-money laundering and countering-the-financing-of-terrorism (AML/CFT) requirements, regardless of whether they are exchanges, custodians, or others.

MAS will also require cryptocurrency intermediaries to put in place robust risk management practices and to implement customer due diligence processes, including know-your-customer (KYC) checks. These measures will help to prevent the use of cryptocurrencies for illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorist financing.

Recent market events clearly demonstrated the risks with prices of several cryptocurrencies dipping significantly, said Senior Minister and Minister in Charge of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Tharman Shanmugaratnam. In a written response issued Monday to a parliamentary question, he said MAS since 2017 had issued cautionary notes about cryptocurrency investments.

“We have also been reminding investors repeatedly that they could possibly lose all their money if they invest in cryptocurrencies,” he said. “As prices have fallen sharply, these investors have indeed lost significant sums of money.”

MAS, however, has no plans to regulate cryptocurrencies as securities or futures contracts, said Tharman. This is because they do not fit well into MAS’ existing regulatory framework for securities and futures contracts, he added.

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Godfrey Mwirigi is an enthusiastic crypto writer with an interest in Bitcoin, blockchain, and technical analysis. With a focus on daily market analysis, his research helps traders and investors alike. His particular interest in digital wallets and blockchain aids his audience in their day-to-day endeavors.

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