Singapore's de facto central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore or MAS, has warned eight digital token exchanges to stay away from trading in digital tokens that constitute securities or futures contracts.
In a release issued Thursday, MAS says it has cautioned the exchanges to seek authorization if trading digital tokens that are regulated under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA).
The authority states:
MAS has further cautioned an initial coin offering (ICO) issuer to cease selling its tokens in the country. It states that the project breached the SFA because the tokens – as they represent equity ownership in a firm – are considered securities.
The issuer has now ceased offering the token in Singapore and returned funds received from local investors, according to the statement.
There has been an increase in the number of digital token exchanges and digital token offerings in Singapore, according to Lee Boon Ngiap, assistant managing director at MAS.
"If any digital token exchange, issuer or intermediary breaches our securities laws, MAS will take firm action," he said. "The public should be aware that there is no regulatory safeguard if they choose to trade on unregulated digital token exchanges or invest in digital tokens that fall outside the remit of MAS’ rules."
Singapore 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.