With Singapore’s Payment Services Act coming into effect, crypto exchange platforms can now apply for operating licenses in the country.
Crypto Exchange Platforms Now Legalized in Singapore
Back in September 2019, Singapore’s parliament passed the Payment Services, Bill, into law, creating the Payment Services Act with the new law coming into effect on Tuesday (January 28, 2019).
As part of the bill, crypto exchange platforms in Singapore can now apply for operating licenses from the MAS. The new laws also grant the regulatory agency, monitoring and supervisory powers over businesses in the country’s crypto space.
The new payment laws contain two regulatory frameworks — payment systems designation and licensing requirements. Together, both parallel aspects of the new laws should help the MAS in overseeing crypto and other payment systems under a unified regulatory paradigm.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Sherry Goh, general manager for Luno Singapore hailed the development, declaring:
[The new law] provides regulatory certainty to industry players but, more importantly, it provides consumers with a clear sense of the players they can trust.
According to Bloomberg, Luno and Liquid Inc. plan to apply for operating licenses under the new regulatory framework. Singapore joins Malaysia in becoming the latest country in Southeast Asia to create a legal basis for crypto exchange platforms.
The move towards legalizing aspects of the crypto business comes as digital currencies continue to remain popular in Southeast Asia. Earlier in January, Malaysian regulators banned crypto initial coin offerings (ICOs) while issuing regulations for initial exchange offerings (IEOs).
Regulators Keen on Robust Digital Asset Forensics
As previously reported by Bitcoinist, the Payment Services Act also includes protocols for forensic crypto tracking. For the MAS, money laundering via crypto channels remains a source of concern for regulators.
At the time, MAS declared Singapore required crypto forensic modalities that were in line with global best practice standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing activities.
In a press statement from Loo Siew Yee, Assistant Managing Director of the MAS, regulators in Singapore also aim to use the new law as a basis for improving consumer protection protocols in the digital payments space.
According to Yee, the new regulatory framework is both “activity-based” and “risk-focused.” The MAS Assistant Managing Director declared that regulators will apply the rules in a fair and balanced manner.
Do you think crypto exchanges will flock to Singapore? Let us know in the comments below.
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