FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore

No need to ban cryptocurrency trading in Singapore yet: MAS

MAS remains on guard for any trading anomalies.

Whilst the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is closely studying the developments and the potential risks of cryptocurrencies, the central bank noted that there is no strong case yet to ban its trading in the city island. 

“Cryptocurrencies are an experiment. The number and different forms of cryptocurrencies is growing internationally. It is too early to say if they will succeed. If some do succeed, their full implications will also not be known for some time,” said Tharman Shanmugaratnam, deputy prime minister and minister in charge of MAS, as a response to concerns raised by some members of the parliament about the potential risks of using cryptocurrency.

Shanmugaratnam explained cryptocurrencies are mainly used as a means of payments or as an asset.

“However, there are significant risks in the use of cryptocurrencies. There is a clear risk of money laundering. And there is clear risk that people will lose a lot of their money by investing in cryptocurrencies. We are addressing both these risks,” he noted.

In line with this, Shanmugaratnam said that they will impose anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) requirements on the intermediaries that buy, sell or exchange virtual currencies. The scheme was first set out last year in the public consultation for the proposed Payment Services Bill.

He added that their enforcement agencies are always on the lookout should there be illegal activities on cryptocurrency trading.  

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