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MAS vows to strengthen crypto regulation on consumer protection

The authority said reviews and public consultations are already underway.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it will strengthen its crypto regulations to focus on areas such as consumer protection, market conduct, and reserve backing for stablecoins.

MAS Managing Director, Ravi Menon, said it has been conducting reviews and public consultations with international standard-setting bodies and regulators to strengthen regulation in the three areas.

"MAS is targeting to consult on proposed measures in the next few months," Menon said.

The authority's move came after so-called "Singapore-based" crypto firms were involved in different controversies; amongst these firms were Three Arrows Capital, TerraForm Labs and Luna Foundation Guard, and Vauld.

Of the three firms, the last two are not licensed by the MAS, according to Menon, whilst Three Arrows Capital was not regulated under the Payment Services Act.

" It had operated under the registered fund management regime to carry out limited fund management business, but had ceased to manage funds in Singapore before the problems leading to its insolvency," Menon said.

Menon also clarified that these firms "have little to do with crypto-related regulation in Singapore."

Nevertheless, Menon said MAS will take firm enforcement action if any entity is found to be conducting illegal activities or performing regulated activities without a license. 

"Next month, we will organise a dedicated Green Shoots seminar to share our strategies to develop Singapore as a digital asset hub. We will explain our position on cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, blockchains, tokenisation, smart contracts, digital assets, etc. – their risks and opportunities; shortcomings and potential," Menon said.

"We will set out how our developmental and regulatory approaches will work in harmony to achieve the vision of Singapore as an innovative and responsible digital asset hub," he added.

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