Singapore Strengthens Crypto Regulation, Introduces Enhanced User Protections

  • Singapore’s initiative to broaden its regulatory oversight of crypto service providers by amending the Payment Services Act. 
  • This expansion encompasses custodial services for digital payment tokens (DPTs), transmission facilitation, and cross-border money transfers. 

Singapore is taking significant steps to bolster its regulatory framework for companies operating in the cryptocurrency and digital payment token (DPT) sectors.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced on Tuesday its plans to expand the regulatory scope of payment services by introducing amendments to the Payment Services Act and its subsidiary legislation. These amendments, set to be implemented in stages starting from April 4, aim to cover various aspects such as custodial services for DPTs, facilitation of DPT transmission, and cross-border money transfers.

The MAS emphasized that the amendments empower it to impose stringent requirements concerning anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism, user protection, and financial stability on DPT service providers. Additionally, the regulatory authority will provide transitional arrangements for entities conducting activities falling under the expanded regulatory scope. These entities are required to notify the MAS within 30 days and submit a license application within six months from April 4.

Angela Ang, a senior policy advisor at TRM Labs and former MAS regulator, expressed that the expansion of regulatory clarity to crypto custody players in Singapore has been long-awaited. Kelvin Low, a law professor at the National University of Singapore, noted that the regulatory changes, although expected, may prompt some crypto exchanges or firms to reconsider their operations in Singapore, a decision that might have been contemplated earlier.

In a parallel development, the MAS released guidelines outlining consumer protection measures for DPT service providers under the Payment Services Act. These measures include mandates to segregate customers’ assets, maintain proper books and records, and ensure the integrity and security of customers’ assets. The guideline is set to take effect on October 4.

Lily Z. King, COO of Cobo, a crypto wallet and custody firm, highlighted the significance of the MAS’ announcement, especially in light of recent calls for legislation regarding crypto custody in Hong Kong. This move underscores Singapore’s commitment to fostering a robust regulatory environment while prioritizing consumer protection within the burgeoning crypto industry.

Singapore’s proactive measures to enhance crypto regulation underscore its commitment to fostering a secure and transparent digital financial ecosystem. By expanding its regulatory scope and introducing robust consumer protection guidelines, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) aims to mitigate risks associated with cryptocurrency services while promoting financial stability. These developments signal Singapore’s position as a leader in regulatory clarity within the crypto space, providing a framework for responsible innovation and investor confidence.

Disclaimer : This article was created for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. An asset’s past performance does not predict its future returns. Before making an investment, please conduct your own research, as digital assets like cryptocurrencies are highly risky and volatile financial instruments.

Author: Puskar Pande

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