Monetary Authority of Singapore Won’t Regulate Cryptocurrencies

Announcements, News, Regulation | October 27, 2017 By:

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, has no plans to regulate cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, but will remain watchful on potential risks.

MAS managing director Ravi Menon said he currently sees no basis for wanting to regulate cryptocurrencies. He said that the central bank’s focus is to look at the activities surrounding the cryptocurrency and asking themselves what kinds of risks they pose, which risks would require a regulatory response, and then proceed from there.

Menon added that very few jurisdictions regulate cryptocurrencies per se. Most have taken the approach that the currency itself does not pose the risk that warrants regulation.

“it is a known fact that cryptocurrencies are quite often abused for illicit financing purposes,” said Menon. And so we do want to have anti money laundering controls, countering the financing of terrorism controls in place. So those requirements apply to activity around cryptocurrency rather than the cryptocurrency itself.”

Singapore already requires digital currency intermediaries such as bitcoin exchange operators to comply with requirements to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. Menon said this will be formalized in the coming payment services regulation which they are working on.

Menon’s comments comes after MAS minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam stated that the monetary authority will only regulate the activities that surround cryptocurrencies, if those activities fall within their more general ambit as financial regulator.