Singapore scales digital currency regulations as MAS gets additional power

Singapore scales digital currency regulations as MAS gets additional power

Singapore is stepping up its efforts to regulate the domestic digital currency industry, this time targeting firms that are based in the country but offering their services outside the city-state.

Last week, lawmakers in Singapore approved the Financial Services and Markets Bill 2022, which further expanded the jurisdiction of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s de facto central bank and digital currency regulator. The law covers virtual asset service providers (VASPs) who in digital currencies, exchanges, and firms that offer financial advice on the sale of such currencies and tokens.

Under the previous regulatory regime, the MAS only had authority over VASPs, which were based in the country and offered their services locally. This led to some regulatory loopholes in which a firm could claim to be regulated by the MAS, which is a reputable watchdog globally, but not be directly supervised by the regulator.

Alvin Tan, a board member of the MAS who spoke on behalf of Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, said that the regulator was worried about the reputational risk that the loophole presented.

“Digital token service providers could easily structure their businesses to evade regulation in any one jurisdiction, as they operate mainly online. We could be exposed to reputational risks brought by DT service providers created in Singapore, and which provide services relating to virtual assets such as Bitcoin outside Singapore,” Tan said.

The new law was well received by some who believe that it will make the industry more reputable and further increase protections for investors. Legitimate firms operating within the confines of the law have nothing to fear, the law’s supporters say.

One of them is Anndy Lian, the chairman of Dutch exchange BigONE, who deems the new regulations reasonable.

“If you walk the ground hard enough, you will see many bad actors and dubious crypto companies using Singapore as a base of their operations. We need to properly regulate things so that the bad actors won’t affect this industry’s image,” Lian said, speaking to Nikkei Asia.

There are others who don’t support the new law, which they claim is just another burden being piled on by regulators on a nascent industry that could prove fatal to its growth.

“Sad, disappointed—we went 10 steps backwards. So MAS is making the assumption that the license is like gold—that everyone will want to get it?” One member of a digital currency group in the city-state stated.

There are also concerns related to the MAS’ processing of licensing applications. As CoinGeek reported in December, the MAS received about 180 applications for licenses by VASPs. Of these, 103 were either rejected or the applicants had withdrawn them after realizing they had not met the standards. At the time, only three firms had been granted operating licenses, with 70 applications being in consideration.

This long queue of applications was just with local firms that target the Singaporean market. VASPS will take longer to get licensed in the city-state with the new law. This will require some firms to move out of Singapore or dig deeper into their pockets to get through the scrutiny.

“For companies that are unable to fulfill the AML/CFT requirement, they will need to move out to other countries. But with more governments regulating cryptocurrency in different jurisdictions, these companies will soon find it hard to operate,” Desmond Yong, the chief strategy officer at Digital Treasures Center, commented.

This new MAS crackdown piles onto others, such as a ban on digital currency ads in public places, which kicked off in January, and the shutdown of digital currency ATMs.

 

Original Source: https://coingeek.com/singapore-scales-digital-currency-regulations-as-mas-gets-additional-power/

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

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Here’s How Shibetoshi Sees Dogecoin Succeeding as a Digital Currency

Here’s How Shibetoshi Sees Dogecoin Succeeding as a Digital Currency
IN BRIEF
  • Billy Markus, the co-creator of Dogecoin, believes that the meme coin needs to market itself as a digital currency.
  • In the past, Markus had agreed that DOGE is “fast, scalable, and inexpensive.”
  • Dogecoin’s creator argues against it being a “shit token.”
Billy Markus, the co-creator of Dogecoin, took to Twitter today to suggest that Dogecoin needs to promote itself as a digital currency.

The American programmer argued that “if you want dogecoin to succeed, continue to be relevant, and have a reason and need to exist, utility comes from using it, accepting it, and showing others the benefits to do so.”

With that, Markus urged the community to contribute to the core development of the project instead of creating unnecessary hype. He commented, “speculation has brought attention. work brings utility.”

In the past as well, Markus had stated that “hype doesn’t last,” but only “attracts get rich quick people.” Instead, projects need to focus on “lasting value,” the creator had reiterated.

Dogecoin, which was a bitcoin spin-off and arguably the first real ‘meme coin,’ had garnered attention after DogeFather Elon Musk fuelled its social media following. But along with that, Musk and Markus have often agreed over Twitter exchanges that DOGE is “people’s crypto.” However, the original meme coin continues to attract critics, especially as it stands as the twelfth-largest crypto.

Arguing against DOGE being just another useless meme token, Markus also commented that “it’s a satirical cryptocurrency made for sillies that randomly caught on.” And, in his opinion, the meme tokens of today “[have] no use case.”

As we recall, Markus considers that DOGE is “fast, scalable, and inexpensive,” in contrast to his definition of ‘shit tokens.’

DOGE recovers

When it comes to Dogecoin’s price action, it has recently enjoyed some recovery along with the broader crypto market. The coin’s major hike also came this week when Elon Musk asked his followers if a new social media platform is needed.

In response, Musk seemed to like the idea of Boardroom Capital chairman, who suggested buying Twitter and replacing the blue bird with DOGE. With that, Anndy Lian, Chairman, BigONE Exchange highlighted the impact of the Twitter exchange on Dogecoin’s value:

In the past week, DOGE prices have gone up by over 17% and were trading at $0.1447 at the time of press. Despite that, it remains around 80% below its all-time-high valuation of $0.731578 reached last year in May.

 

Original Source: https://beincrypto.com/shibetoshi-dogecoin-succeeding-digital-currency/

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

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Singapore rejects over 100 licensing applications from digital currency firms

Singapore rejects over 100 licensing applications from digital currency firms

Singapore’s central bank is proving to be the toughest regulator in the world for digital currencies to obtain an operating license from. According to a recent report, of the 176 firms that applied for the coveted license, about 100 have seen their applications rejected and only five have obtained the license so far.

Singapore was once seen as a digital currency haven, with many firms setting up local operations or moving their headquarters there. However, the local regulator has become very tough on these firms in the past two years. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has shown just how serious it is on ridding the country of unregulated entities after kicking out Binance and its local subsidiary Binance.sg from the country, despite its CEO Changpeng Zhao residing in Singapore.

A report by Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei reveals that the MAS crackdown goes beyond bringing down the world’s largest exchange. The newspaper reports that out of the 176 businesses that applied for a license to offer “digital payment token services,” 103 have either been rejected by the MAS or the applicants have withdrawn their application.

The MAS insists that it’s a supporter of blockchain technology and digital currencies and believes they have a role to play in the future of finance. However, it recognizes the risks they pose and is determined to protect Singaporean investors.

“Cryptocurrencies could be abused for money laundering, terrorism financing or proliferation financing due to the speed and cross-border nature of the transactions,” a spokesperson for the watchdog told Nikkei.

“Digital payment token service providers in Singapore … have to comply with requirements to mitigate such risks, including the need to carry out proper customer due diligence, conduct regular account reviews, and monitor and report suspicious transactions,” the spokesperson added.

At first, the MAS let the virtual asset service providers (VASPs) operate with little oversight. However, it introduced a new licensing regime in January 2020 when the Payment Services Act took effect. Companies that were already operating were allowed to keep on serving their clients by being granted an exemption until the MAS could review their applications. In July 2021, there were 90 companies in this category. A week ago, this number had shrunk to just over 70.

Currently, the MAS has only listed three firms as licensed digital currency entities. These are Independent Reserve, an Australian exchange; FOMO Pay, a digital payments startup; and DBS Vickers Securities, a subsidiary of DBS Group Holdings, Singapore’s largest bank.

Coinhacko and TripleA are the other two that have made announcements claiming to have received the coveted license, although the MAS hasn’t officially recognized them on its website.

Some appreciate the MAS’ strict regulations and requirements for the VASPs. However, there have been many complaints, especially from companies whose license applications have been denied.

Anndy Lian, the chair of Dutch exchange BigONE, is one of those who’ve expressed disgruntlement over the process under which the MAS is handing licenses. He believes that the regulator arbitrarily selects winners and losers in the Singaporean digital currency sector.

“The whole process of selecting who to give the license to is not very transparent. It gives the impression that the government is favoring big players and foreign exchanges,” Lian stated, speaking to Nikkei.

Even those that have obtained this license have some complaints about the MAS. Eric Barbier, the CEO of TripleA, one of the five licensed firms, called out the regulator for its refusal to engage with the industry and tell firms what it requires from them.

“MAS never talks. MAS asks questions and questions and questions. You can ask questions but they will not answer, and most regulators are like this,” said Barbier.

 

 

Original Source: https://coingeek.com/singapore-rejects-over-100-licensing-applications-from-digital-currency-firms/

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

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