The Central Bank of Singapore does not have a reason to regulate cryptocurrencies. The head of the Monetary Authority of Singapore confirmed it.
Singapore Prefers not to Regulate Virtual Currencies
Singapore does not plan to regulate cryptocurrencies. Following the statements of the Managing Director (MAS) Ravi Menon, it is important to regulate what is around the cryptocurrencies rather than the cryptocurrencies by themselves.
“Our attitude is to keep an open mind about it (Bitcoin),” Mr Menon told Bloomberg. “Very few jurisdictions regulate cryptocurrencies per se. The currency itself does not pose the kind of risk that require regulation. Our intention is to look at the activity around the cryptocurrency and then make an assessment about which regulation would be suitable”, he answered.
On October the 3rd, Mr Tharman Shanmugartnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of MAS, confirmed Menon statements. “MAS does not regulate such virtual currencies per se. We regulate the activities that surround them if those activities fall within our more general ambit as financial regulator,” he explained.
There is a Distinction Between Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology
Mr. Menon has made a clear distinction. Cryptocurrencies must be separated from the technology behind them, Blockchain. He said that some individuals believe that Bitcoin is an investment, more than a currency. People are waiting for is price to be as higher as possible.
The interesting fact about Bitcoin is Blockchain. This technology has different applications. It allows payments to be cheaper, faster and more efficient. “Migrant workers can send money back to their villages. And if the payment goes through Blockchain technology, using cryptocurrencies, it can bring benefits,” he clarified.
Jamie Dimon, as a banker, commented in negative way about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. But he made a distinction between the virtual currencies and Blockchain. “The technology (blockchain) will be used to transport money. But it will not be Bitcoin, but US Dollars that will be transported,” he said. JPMorgan is investing in Blockchain technology. Bank of America and other banking institutions follow the same line.
What About ICOs in Singapore
Singapore is the fourth most important financial centre in the world, according to the Global Financial Centres Index. This makes of it a potential focus for ICOs. Regulations regarding ICOs would depend on the specific case of the ICO investigated. “So we just have to look at them (ICOs), case by case to see which ones we will need to bring into the regulatory ambit, and which ones can stay outside”, Menon expressed.
Finally, Menon said that as ICOs promise a dividend or economic benefit in the future, Singapore’s law could cover them. ICOs can resemble regular securities offerings and the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) could apply to them. The use of Bitcoin keeps growing around the world and in Singapore too.
Other countries that regulated ICOs are China and South Korea. Russia has also informed that they will regulate the ICO market in its territory.
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