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Singapore may establish tougher rules for retail crypto market

singapore crypto regulation

Singapore’s central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), may roll out stricter rules for retail crypto trading, according to a top official. If this happens, the move could deal a blow to the growth of the retail crypto market in Singapore.

Speaking at a fintech seminar in the city-state, the managing director of MAS, Ravi Menon, said that despite warnings and measures, retail investors seem to be oblivious about the risks associated with crypto trading. The central bank is therefore considering trying to monitor retail access through crypto trading platforms.

The measures taken could include customer suitability tests, restricting the use of leverage, and credit facilities for crypto trading. MAS plans to seek opinions and feedback on the regulation of crypto for retail investors from the public by October and is engaging with global counterparts already.

Menon clarified that the central bank is not discouraging digital asset innovation, but wants crypto speculation to end. “MAS’ facilitative posture on digital asset activities and restrictive stance on cryptocurrency speculation are not contradictory,” he explained, adding that banning is not likely to work.

Over the last few years, digital firms from China and India set up shops in Singapore, making it a major center in Asia. As a result, the country has seen an influx of talent. Talks of tougher regulations have gained pace in this context, especially after a few global crypto lending and trading firms based in Singapore defaulted on their payments to users.

Menon argued that cryptocurrencies have assumed a life of their own outside blockchain in recent times and that has been the source of the problem. In his view, the economic value of cryptos often have nothing to do with their use on the distributed ledger.

Menon also ruled out any possibilities of a CBDC launch for the country in the near future. He said that the case for a retail CBDC in Singapore is not compelling for now.

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