Singapore: No intention to restrict cryptocurrency innovation but to guard against financial risks

Singapore has been the financial center of Southeast Asia, and now it is gradually turning into the cryptocurrency center of Asia as well.

Retail investors with little experience should avoid investing in cryptocurrencies, and Singapore will not restrict innovation, said Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Director General Ravi Menon at a press conference on June 30 to release the MAS annual report for fiscal year 2020/2021. He noted that there are many players in the crypto space who are experimenting with the technology to create use cases with “significant social and economic benefits. Singapore will not stop this trend from developing. “For the Monetary Authority, it is better to guard the gates of the financial system to ensure that risks are well controlled rather than trying to directly control the participants in crypto assets.”

On the same day, the MAS director said once again: insisting that retail investors should stay away from crypto assets and cryptocurrencies, that consumer protection for cryptocurrencies may be considered if the use of cryptocurrencies rises, and additionally, that Singapore is monitoring the financial system’s exposure to cryptocurrencies.

For his part, Leong Sing Chiong, deputy director of the HKMA, said that cryptocurrency business applications in Singapore have not increased significantly at a time when crackdowns are being taken elsewhere.

In fact, Singapore’s cryptocurrency market has been at the forefront of Asia in recent years.

Singapore’s largest commercial bank, DBS Bank, launched Asia’s first bank-backed cryptocurrency trust solution on May 14 of this year.

The product will allow private banking clients to invest, custody and manage these assets in a safe, secure and structured manner, DBS said in a statement. The new solution builds on the DBS Digital Exchange cryptocurrency trading platform launched last December and provides institutional and qualified investors with an integrated tokenization trading and custody ecosystem for digital assets. Currently, the trust product is only available for BTC, ETH, BCH and XRP.

The openness and transparency has also attracted several organizations to Singapore, such as NASDAQ-listed, which moved its headquarters to Singapore earlier this year. Over 300 other companies have applied to MAS for licenses to operate payment or cryptocurrency exchange businesses in Singapore, including well-known companies such as Alibaba, Cryptocurrency and Google.

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