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Singapore bans promotion of cryptocurrency trading in public

The new guidelines instruct against marketing DPT services in public areas.

Singapore is the latest to make a move discouraging cryptocurrency trading, with the local regulator releasing a set of guidelines barring crypto service providers from publicly promoting their digital payment token (DPT) services to the general public.

The new guidelines instruct against marketing or advertising of DPT services in public areas, such as through advertisements on public transport, public transport venues, public websites, social media platforms, broadcast and print media, or provision of physical ATMs.

Promotion of DPT services to the Singapore general public is also prohibited even through third parties, such as social media influencers.

“[The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)] strongly encourages the development of blockchain technology and innovative application of crypto tokens in value-adding use cases. But the trading of cryptocurrencies is highly risky and not suitable for the general public,” Loo Siew Yee, MAS Assistant Managing Director (Policy, Payments and Financial Crime), said in an official statement.

“DPT service providers should therefore not portray the trading of DPTs in a manner that trivialises the high risks of trading in DPTs, nor engage in marketing activities that target the general public,” Loo added.

Crypto service providers can only market or advertise on their own corporate websites, mobile applications or official social media accounts

In a statement, MAS said that it has “consistently warned that trading DPTs is highly risky and not suitable for the general public, as the prices of DPTs are subject to sharp speculative swings.”

Despite the new limitations, the Singapore Fintech Association (SFA) and the SFA Payments Group (SFA-PG) are optimistic about the future of crypto in the city, saying in a statement that they see guidelines as proof that Singapore “continues to see blockchain and cryptocurrencies as innovations that have the potential to gain mass adoption.”

“It is imperative that such adoption is balanced with pragmatic guardrails and a system of consumer protections aiming to create a more sustainable market environment,” SFA said in an official statement, adding that they hold ongoing dialogues with MAS regarding developments that will affect the fintech industry.

SFA payments group sub-committee chairman James Shanahan said that SFA-PG believes that the new guidelines will bring increased stability to the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.

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