Monetary Authority Of Singapore Shuts Down Local ICO

ICO News, News, Regulation | May 25, 2018 By:

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, has shut down an unidentified initial coin offering (ICO) for allegedly offering unregistered securities.

In a release issued Thursday, MAS said it has directed an ICO issuer to stop offering digital tokens to Singapore-based investors after assessing that the issuer had contravened the country’s Securities and Futures Act (SFA), as its tokens represented equity ownership in a company, which would be considered as securities under the SFA.

“The offer was made without a MAS-registered prospectus, which is a SFA requirement,” the central bank said. “The issuer has ceased the offer and has taken remedial actions to comply with MAS’ regulations. It has also returned all funds received from Singapore-based investors.”

MAS has also warned eight crypto exchanges to stay away from trading in digital tokens that are securities or futures contracts without MAS’ authorization.

“Digital token exchanges commonly allow the buying and selling of digital tokens using fiat currency, and also facilitate the exchange of digital tokens between their clients,” the MAS said. “If the digital tokens constitute securities or futures contracts, the exchanges must immediately cease the trading of such digital tokens until they have been authorized as an approved exchange or recognized market operator by MAS.”

Lee Boon Ngiap, Assistant Managing Director (Capital Markets), MAS, said that while the number of crypto exchanges and ICOs in Singapore are increasing, they do not see a need to restrict them as long as they are bonafide businesses.

“If any digital token exchange, issuer or intermediary breaches our securities laws, MAS will take firm action,” Ngiap said. “The public should be aware that there is no regulatory safeguard if they choose to trade on unregulated digital token exchanges or invest in digital tokens that fall outside the remit of MAS’ rules.”