Singapore's government has indicated that it sees no need to prohibit cryptocurrency trading.
Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore's deputy prime minister and chairman of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said in a written response to MPs yesterday that cryptocurrency and related trading activity currently do not pose any threat to Singapore's finance system.
He stated that MAS has been "closely studying these developments and the potential risks they pose. As of now, there is no strong case to ban cryptocurrency trading here."
The comments came as a direct response to lawmakers Saktiandi Supaat, Lim Biow Chuan and Cheng Li Hui, who questioned the PM over possibility of banning cryptocurrency in Singapore, according to an order paper prior to a parliament meeting on Feb. 5.
The deputy PM wrote:
As such, Shanmugaratnam said, regulators "do not have broader, systemic risk concerns with regard to cryptocurrencies."
The comment is also in line with an October 2017 report in which Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS, indicated that the central bank would not regulate cryptocurrencies.
Yet, Shanmugaratnam stated in his written response that the institution is aware of the possible use of cryptocurrency in illicit activities such as money laundering and is taking relevant measures to tackle the issue.
MAS will be imposing anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) requirements on intermediaries that buy, sell or exchange cryptocurrencies, he said, adding: "We set out this AML/CFT regulatory framework for virtual currency intermediaries last year as part of our public consultation on the proposed Payment Services Bill."
Shanmugaratnam image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.