Singapore Mulls New Rules to Safeguard Cryptocurrency, ICO Investors

Singapore’s central bank is ‘assessing’ additional rules to its cryptocurrency framework in order to protect investors, an official has revealed.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the city-state’s central bank, is looking at regulations in addition to its regulatory framework that cryptocurrency exchanges and service providers are currently adhering to. The new rules will specifically focus on investor protection, MAS Deputy Managing Director of Financial Supervision said in a speech released today.

While the MAS doesn’t regulate cryptocurrencies directly, the authority has mandated cryptocurrency intermediaries like exchanges and remittance operators to comply by anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFC) rules.

"Virtual currencies first emerged about 10 years ago. Since then, we have observed an increase in the number of initial coin (or token) offerings in Singapore," the financial regulator said. "As with most financial regulators, MAS does not regulate virtual currencies. But we regulate the activities that surround virtual currencies if these pose specific risks. "

The central bank official notably added:

"We are assessing if additional regulations are required for investor protection."

The remarks suggest that the technology-forward Asian hub could be looking at a more robust regulatory framework for the domestic cryptocurrency sector which has seen notable growth in recent years alongside global crypto markets.

Earlier in February, Singapore deputy prime minister and minister in charge of the central bank Tharman Shanmugaratnam stressed during a parliamentary that, upon “closely studying” developments in the space, the central bank sees no reason to follow the likes of China in enforcing a cryptocurrency trading ban.

While the central bank has previously cautioned residents partaking in cryptocurrency investments at a time when bitcoin price reached an all-time high of $20,000 in December, the deputy PM has since stated that the Singaporean dollar and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin will see the same scrutiny under AML/CFT laws.

The MAS is also pressing ahead with regulation that will bring retail payment services, including cryptocurrency intermediaries, under the singular regulation of its revised Payment Services Bill sometime this year.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Samburaj Das @sambdas

Samburaj is the Editor for CCN, among the earliest and foremost publications covering blockchain, cryptocurrency and financial technology news. He has authored over 1,500 articles for CCN and is invested in Bitcoin. Email him samburaj(@)ccn.com or find him barely tweeting @sambdas

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