Singapore, unlike other Asian countries, is not planning to ban trading in cryptocurrencies or impose very severe restrictions and requirements on the industry, reports CCN.
Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s deputy prime minister and minister in charge of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) (the country’s central bank and financial regulator), told MPs that “there is no reason to ban cryptocurrency trading among residents”, in reply to a question whether he plans a ban similar to that in China. Shanmugaratnam noted that cryptocurrencies are “an experiment”, but are still at their early stages and is too early to tell whether they will succeed.
“The MAS has been closely studying these developments and the potential risks they pose. As of now, there is no strong case to ban cryptocurrency trading here. But we will be subjecting those involved as intermediaries to our anti-money laundering regulations”, he said.
Shanmugaratnam told MPs that right now the Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is used either for payment or as an investment asset, where people trade in them in hope to make a profit. He said the authorities will continue to warn the public of the risks of cryptocurrencies and ICO’s and will make an effort to bring the industry under singular legislation of payment services. On the other hand, Singapore will continue to encourage and participate in blockchain and cryptocurrency-related projects, because their application may turn out to be “economically or socially useful”, while remaining alert of the risks.
MAS was among the first financial regulators to issue a public warning of the risks of trading in cryptocurrencies and ICOs. The regulator was also among the first to welcome blockchain innovation, back in 2016, when it announced its support for the e R3 Asia Lab.