The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has provided clarification on the country’s FinTech Regulatory Sandbox framework, saying that no businesses have qualified as cryptocurrency payment providers. This response follows a letter published in the Financial Times criticizing Singapore’s lack of public consultation and oversight on crypto adoption.
MAS clarified that the sandbox supports a broad range of fintech experimentation, rather than just catering to cryptocurrency. All businesses with a valid bank account can access the FAST interbank payment system, which enables customers to transfer Singapore dollars from one entity to another in Singapore. This includes crypto businesses, however payments through FAST are only made in fiat currencies, not cryptocurrencies.
The regulator then stated that the rising cases of malware scam in Singapore have nothing to do with cryptocurrencies. MAS believes that such scams are more prevalent in the fiat economy, as fraudsters take control of customers’ mobile devices and effect unauthorized transfers.
In order to combat money laundering, Singapore provides operational licenses to crypto businesses that can demonstrate robust Anti-Money Laundering (AML) controls. The MAS has consulted the public on a suite of regulatory measures to mitigate the risks posed by cryptocurrencies to retail customers, which will be implemented by the end of the year.
President-elect Tharman Shanmugaratnam, former MAS Chair, has historically considered cryptocurrencies as risky investments. He has warned Singapore-based users to be cautious when investing in crypto assets, due to their high volatility and risk.