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:
"If the digital tokens constitute securities or futures contracts, the exchanges must immediately cease the trading of such digital tokens until they have been authorised as an approved exchange or recognised market operator by MAS."
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."
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