Singapore: MAS mulls tighter regulations on crypto platforms

THE Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is considering tighter measures on cryptocurrency trading platforms, said Tharman Shanmugaratnam, minister in charge of the regulator, in a written answer to a parliamentary question.

The authority has already restricted marketing and advertising of cryptocurrency services by cryptocurrency platforms in public areas since January; the tightened curbs have included the removal of cryptocurrency ATMs from public areas.

Currently, cryptocurrency platforms are licensed under the digital payment token (DPT) services under the Payment Services Act, which empowers the regulator to impose additional measures to ensure better consumer protections, financial stability and safeguard the efficacy of monetary policy. Fourteen licences have been issued, with 3 issued recently to, Genesis and Sparrow Exchange on Jun 22.

The MAS is now considering additional consumer protection safeguards on cryptocurrency platforms.

“These may include placing limits on retail participation and rules on the use of leverage when transacting in cryptocurrencies,’ said Tharman.

Regulatory coordination and cooperation with other regulatory agencies across the world is needed, and these issues are being discussed at various international bodies in which the MAS participates.

This comes after the implosion of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) and a subsequent reprimand by the MAS for false information and for exceeding its assets under management limit. The regulator has been investigating 3AC’s breaches since June 2021, and is still assessing whether there are further breaches.

“MAS reiterates its warning: cryptocurrencies are highly risky and are not suitable for the retail public. People can lose most of the money they have invested or more, if they borrow to purchase cryptocurrencies,” said Tharman.