The MAS is looking into the possibility of introducing additional regulations for protecting digital currency investors.
Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator is currently contemplating whether additional rules are needed to protect cryptocurrency investors, owing to the high risks involved and the unregulated nature of the crypto market.
According to a Reuters report, the rapid increase in crypto ownership in Singapore has raised numerous concerns for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), as confirmed by Ong Chong Tee, the deputy managing director (Financial Supervision) at the MAS:
“We are assessing if additional regulations are required in the area of investor protection,” he said in a speech today.
While other countries such as China and South Korea have adopted a strict and uncompromising stance when it comes to regulating cryptos, Singapore has opted for a more balanced approach.
The MAS has confirmed that it has no plans to ban or regulate cryptos. It will only focus on regulating crypto-related activities which might pose specific risks – e.g. subjecting any intermediaries providing crypto-related services to anti-money laundering laws.
In addition, the MAS has also played an active role in warning Singaporean citizens about the high risks associated with cryptos investment. The regulatory authority issued an advisory for investors last year, warning them to “act with extreme caution” when putting their money into digital currencies.
Overall, the central bank has confirmed that it aims to “stay alert to new risks” while providing an encouraging climate, concurrently, for “economically or socially useful” innovations.
Meanwhile, Singapore has expressed repeated interest in the blockchain technology which underlies cryptocurrencies, and has come to establish itself as a fintech hub of sorts. The city-state is currently working on its own blockchain project called Project Ubin, which aims to create a blockchain-based network for interbank transactions.
The final phase of the project, which will involve the creation of a digital Singaporean dollar, is scheduled to be completed this year.