Singapore Lawmakers Question Prime Minister Over Crypto Regulation

NEWS
Wolfie Zhao
Feb 6, 2018 at 12:32 UTC  |  Updated  Feb 6, 2018 at 14:19 UTC

Members of Singapore's parliament have expressed interest in developing regulations to oversee the country's cryptocurrency sector.

According to an order paper dated on Feb. 5, which outlines the agenda of the day's parliamentary session, three lawmakers sought comment from the country's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, as to the government's stance on regulatory issues related to cryptocurrencies.

Parliament members Saktiandi Supaat, Lim Biow Chuan and Cheng Li Hui raised questions to the PM as to whether the government is reconsidering the drafting of a regulatory framework and the possibility of banning cryptocurrency trading in Singapore.

As reported previously, while the country's de facto central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, has given an outline of how it would treat initial coin offering activities, the central bank's chief said in last October the institution has no plan to regulate cryptocurrencies.

Although the order paper does not mean any bill is being drafted, it nonetheless reveals interests from the country's legislative members in moving to explore a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.

Furthermore, Supaat and Cheng also requested comment from the government on its measures around tackling the use of cryptocurrency in money laundering and tax evasion, as well as how it would move to protect investors in the case of a cryptocurrency market collapse.

The news comes soon after other nations including China and South Korea have made moves to restrict cryptocurrency activities.

While China closed all cryptocurrency exchanges and looks to be about to block citizens' access to websites of overseas services too, South Korea has so far banned only crypto trading from virtual accounts. However, it is still unclear if reported plans to further restrict exchange-based trading are still on the table.

Singapore parliament image via Shutterstock.

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