Singapore2018-08-28T07:56:03+00:00

Singapore

Region: Asia

Favorability: 3/5

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One of the world’s major financial hubs, Singapore is one of the most pro-cryptocurrency markets in Asia. The chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), recently stated that while they do not recognize Bitcoin as legal tender, they would still allow businesses to accept cryptocurrency payments provided that they are regulated under a suitable framework protecting consumers as well as the merchants.

However n the other hand it was reported in September of 2017 that Singapore based banks have closed accounts of companies providing cryptocurrency and payments services to the Singaporean public. This move prompted the Singapore Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Industry Association to ask the government to define clear policies to ensure the smooth operation of cryptocurrency services in the country.

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Legal Status
of Cryptocurrency in Singapore

Although there is no outright ban on the use of cryptocurrency in Singapore the Singaporean central bank has advised its citizens to remain cautious regarding it. While it sees the potential of blockchain technology, it also is cognizant of the fact that cryptocurrency could be used to fund anti-social activities.

In order to protect the Singaporean public against fraud, all virtual currency handlers operating in Singapore are supposed to comply with existing requirements to prevent terror funding and money laundering. The central bank is said to be doing extensive research on the subject in order to promote itself as an easy place to do business when it comes to cryptocurrency.

Regulation
of ICOs in Singapore

The head of the MAS stated that while there is currently no regulation specifically pertaining to ICOs, this could be subject to change in the future. The MAS is in favour of imposing suitable regulation for ICOs.

The MAS also mentioned that the issuance of digital tokens through ICOs are a form of securities and as such, will be subject to regulatory requirements of securities currently enforced in Singapore. The MAS will continue to monitor ICOs and implement further regulation if required.

Cryptocurrency
Markets in Singapore

In 2016, the MAS launched a new cryptocurrency project named “Project Ubin” in collaboration with several banks, which aims to explore avenues to deploy Blockchain technology in Singapore. Split in five phases, the project also comprises a way of establishing and using a digital version of the Singapore Dollar to carry out daily transactions.

Through “Project Ubin”, the MAS seeks to show other regulators the benefits that modern Blockchain technology can bring to the market as a whole. The project is scheduled to conclude in early 2018, with the results being released by the MAS in late 2018.

Overall, it seems like the Singaporean government is generally ready for cryptocurrency, provided proper regulation is imposed on the market to protect consumers as well as businesses from financial loss.

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