Singapore’s new payment services regulations include crypto coverage

Singapore is proactively working to implement changes that will foster a positive environment in which cryptocurrencies can flourish in the country. In October, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced an effort that was meant to bring banks and crypto operators together and, now, the country is introducing new payment services regulations that will cover crypto exchanges, as well.

According to a publication on the government’s website, a new bill looks to introduce regulatory framework that will give the MAS the ability to regulate seven types of payment services. Among them is cryptocurrency payment token services. That bill, the Payment Services Bill, has already made its first appearance in front of Parliament.

The bill looks to expand the control of regulated payment services given to the MAS. It specifically authorizes the agency to regulate payment services in relation to several risks, including money laundering and terrorism financing, limitations to interoperability, loss of consumer or merchant funds due to insolvency and risks associated to cyber-attacks.

The bill is divided into two parts—the designation framework for payment systems and the licensing framework for payment service providers. The first framework will give the MAS the ability to assign particular payment systems, as well as to regulate operators and settlement institutions. The second authorizes the MAS to regulate payment services provisions, including account issuance, cross-border and domestic money transfers, eCommerce issuance services and merchant acquisition services, among others.

The bill specifically defines a “digital payment token service” as the practice of “buying or selling digital payment tokens (commonly known as cryptocurrencies), or providing a platform to allow persons to exchange digital payment tokens in Singapore.”

According to the bill, “To ensure that the objects of the Bill are met, MAS will have general powers over all regulated entities, including powers to conduct inspections and investigations, and emergency powers. The Bill will require regulated entities to comply with general requirements relating to corporate governance, capital adequacy and business conduct.”

The move could help Singapore take a leading spot among the jurisdictions favorable to cryptocurrency’s future role as a viable alternative to fiat. It could also assist the country in becoming the first country to fully accept cryptocurrency, as it said it wanted to do this past September.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Regulator seeks to ‘bring together’ Singapore’s crypto operators, banks

Singapore’s financial regulatory body, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has taken it upon itself to “bring together” cryptocurrency companies and the banks, following complaints from crypto operators about the difficulties in setting up bank accounts in the sovereign city state, Bloomberg reported.

In an interview with the news outlet, MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon said the goal of the agency—which also operates as the country’s central bank—“is to bring the banks and cryptocurrency fintech startups together to see if there is some understanding they can reach.”

The Monetary Authority of Singapore may be willing to help crypto startups, but Menon clarified that the financial regulator will not be attracting crypto startups to Singapore using “an extremely lax regulatory environment.” According to Menon, banks are treading carefully in dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges and firms whose nature “is a bit different,” which means “banks may need to employ other ways in which they can establish bona fide.”

“I hope we can bring minds together on this so we that we can get over this hurdle,” Menon said, according to the report.

Singapore is working towards developing its financial technology sector as a means of creating jobs. The country, however, taking a cautious approach when it comes to the cryptocurrency industry, although Menon pointed out that its regulatory system is different from China—which bans crypto activities outright—and Japan, which has adopted a more welcoming approach to the nascent sector.

In Singapore, cryptocurrency activities fall under three categories: the first are utility tokens, which are used for purposes like payments, and therefore need “hardly any regulation.”

Digital tokens make up the second category, and these are governed by the Securities and Futures Act (SFA), according to Menon. Currently, only few initial coin offerings (ICOs) have made it to second category, since “most of them are careful to steer clear” of the line lest they incur “the full weight of the SFA.”

The third group, according to Menon, is composed of payment tokens like “highly risky” Bitcoin due to its price swings.

Menon explained, “If they are not security, then we don’t have a problem with it. We’ve seen quite a lot of ICO activity that is not security related. And there’s a lot of interesting business models out there trying to raise capital in interesting ways, which as far as the consumers are aware of what these are, we have no issues.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Singapore set to receive first fiat-to-crypto exchange

According to the media outlet Financial News, Singapore now has its first fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange. The platform, EurekaPro, is already accepting beta testers and over 8,000 individuals signed up the first week the testing was offered.

The exchange will make it easier for consumers and businesses to purchase and exchange cryptocurrencies. EurekaPro will support a number of Asian currencies, including the Singapore dollar, the Indonesian rupiah and the Malaysian ringgit, among others.

According to the platform’s CEO, Junus Eu, “Our platform represents a unique proposition for the blockchain space in Southeast Asia, by removing or reducing entry barriers to the crypto market that may otherwise prevent consumers from adopting blockchain technology.”

EurekaPro was founded by Eu in conjunction with Kin-Wai Lau and Douglas Gan. The company began as the Sweden-based Overswitch and has operations in that country, as well as in Singapore and Malaysia.

While cryptocurrency is gaining ground around the world, nowhere is this more evident than in Southeast Asia. It is currently the fastest growing market and is seeing strong adoption, in particular, among the middle class. Out of all the countries in the region, Singapore and Thailand are currently leading the way and have maintained an inviting atmosphere for cryptocurrency.

Last month, Singapore proved its trust in cryptocurrency at the Singapore Consensus conference. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which acts as the country’s central bank, indicated that it was ready to accept cryptocurrency. The head of the FinTech Ecosystem division for MAS, Damien Pang, indicated that the bank would not be looking to regulate the technology, but would obviously regulate the purpose.

To assist with its endeavors, the MAS has partnered with the NASDAQ exchange, Deloitte and Anquan in order to create solutions for exchanges and for payment settlement solutions that could incorporate digital currencies and security assets.

Not too far behind, Thailand has been moving quickly to draft regulations for cryptocurrencies. It is also working on developing guidelines to classify different crypto as securities or currencies, depending on their purpose, and has introduces a series of regulations for initial coin offerings (ICO). Since the implementation of the ICO regulations, new offerings have dropped off substantially, a strong indication that only serious players are now willing to participate in the space.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Monetary Authority of Singapore warns investors of yet another crypto scam

Another day, yet another crypto scam—this time, in the form of a website, which, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), falsely represents comments from MAS chairman and the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

In a warning to investors, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said that the reported comments from Shanmugaratnam about BTC were fictional, except for a remark he made about the presently low volumes of crypto trading in the country.

Monetary Authority of Singapore warns investors of yet another crypto scam

On Thursday, the central bank said it found another fraudulent BTC site that “has been similarly soliciting investments” in the cryptocurrency by using fabricated statements attributed to Shanmugaratnam.

Monetary Authority of Singapore warns investors of yet another crypto scam

As a result of their concerns over the BTC scam, MAS warned investors not to provide any information through the website, cautioning against clicking the link to create a BTC account and submit personal data.

The position is consistent with MAS’s stance on other BTC scams, with the authority regularly warning investors on the dangers of investing in the cryptocurrency. Even more broadly, the authority has taken a dim view on trading in BTC, warning investors back in December 2017—a period of all-time highs for the crypto—that they would ‘lose their shirts’ backing BTC.

The authority urged anyone who might be suspicious about a BTC scam to refer the matter immediately to law enforcement, and of course to refrain from engaging with the scam.

The development comes at a time when officials in Singapore are becoming more aggressive in their efforts to crack down on nefarious activity around BTC.

The increase in regulation has been partly driven by China’s crackdown on crypto trading and ICOs, which has seen Singapore become a haven for crypto exchanges and ICO promoters. However, the central bank has been quick to act against those pushing the boundaries with their cryptocurrency offerings, of which today’s scam warnings are the latest example.

Back in May, MAS wrote to eight cryptocurrency exchanges in the country warning them that they were required to be regulated before they could issue or trade in cryptocurrencies and tokens.

The authority also put a stop to an ICO at the time, after identifying the ICO as an unregulated equity, without the required prospectus or MAS authorisation demanded by Singapore securities law.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

The post Monetary Authority of Singapore warns investors of yet another crypto scam appeared first on Coingeek.

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Monetary Authority of Singapore warns investors of yet another crypto scam

Another day, yet another crypto scam—this time, in the form of a website, which, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), falsely represents comments from MAS chairman and the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

In a warning to investors, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said that the reported comments from Shanmugaratnam about BTC were fictional, except for a remark he made about the presently low volumes of crypto trading in the country.

Monetary Authority of Singapore warns investors of yet another crypto scam

On Thursday, the central bank said it found another fraudulent BTC site that “has been similarly soliciting investments” in the cryptocurrency by using fabricated statements attributed to Shanmugaratnam.

Monetary Authority of Singapore warns investors of yet another crypto scam

As a result of their concerns over the BTC scam, MAS warned investors not to provide any information through the website, cautioning against clicking the link to create a BTC account and submit personal data.

The position is consistent with MAS’s stance on other BTC scams, with the authority regularly warning investors on the dangers of investing in the cryptocurrency. Even more broadly, the authority has taken a dim view on trading in BTC, warning investors back in December 2017—a period of all-time highs for the crypto—that they would ‘lose their shirts’ backing BTC.

The authority urged anyone who might be suspicious about a BTC scam to refer the matter immediately to law enforcement, and of course to refrain from engaging with the scam.

The development comes at a time when officials in Singapore are becoming more aggressive in their efforts to crack down on nefarious activity around BTC.

The increase in regulation has been partly driven by China’s crackdown on crypto trading and ICOs, which has seen Singapore become a haven for crypto exchanges and ICO promoters. However, the central bank has been quick to act against those pushing the boundaries with their cryptocurrency offerings, of which today’s scam warnings are the latest example.

Back in May, MAS wrote to eight cryptocurrency exchanges in the country warning them that they were required to be regulated before they could issue or trade in cryptocurrencies and tokens.

The authority also put a stop to an ICO at the time, after identifying the ICO as an unregulated equity, without the required prospectus or MAS authorisation demanded by Singapore securities law.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

The post Monetary Authority of Singapore warns investors of yet another crypto scam appeared first on Coingeek.

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