- The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore’s central bank and crypto regulator, imposed a stringent licensing process on crypto service providers.
- “We want to be a responsible global crypto hub,” said Ravi Menon, the Managing Director of MAS.
- He pointed out that people can use crypto for money laundering and financing terrorists.
Singapore’s central bank and crypto regulator — Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) — said that the process of licensing crypto service providers must be stringent.
Ravi Menon, the Managing Director of MAS, shared his concerns about the risks of investing in cryptocurrency. Specifically, he spoke to retail investors at the Financial Times Crypto and Digital Asset Summit last Wednesday. He pointed out that crypto can be exploited for money laundering and financing terrorists.
“The licensing process is stringent. And it needs to be because we want to be a responsible global crypto hub with innovative players, but also with strong risk management capabilities.”
December last year, the central bank of Singapore only approved 170 crypto asset applicants. Over 100 companies that applied for a crypto license either received a ‘no’ or pulled out of their applications.
The central bank has used a “tough line” on retail crypto investing because they’re “not sure that’s a good idea for retail investors to be dabbling in cryptocurrencies,” Menon said. He emphasized that “many global regulators share similar concerns about retail exposure to cryptocurrencies.”
Menon elaborated that they check the track record of their applicants first. Should the company have a solid corporate governance structure, it will have a greater approval rate. He also added that applicants must be familiar with money laundering and terrorist financing risks.
W cryptocurrencies do not threaten the financial system, Menon said that money laundering and terrorism financing risks are there.
In related news, MAS issued guidelines to discourage cryptocurrency trading by the general public last January. The guidelines pointed out that “the trading of cryptocurrencies is highly risky and not suitable for the general public”. A few days later, the central bank shut down cryptocurrency ATMs in the country.
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