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Despite scrutiny from regulators everywhere, many Singaporeans are still looking forward to the future of cryptocurrency

Have you ever thought of using cryptocurrency as part of your daily routine? If so, you’re part of 37% or more than ⅓ of the Singapore population who are interested in using cryptocurrency to purchase goods, according to a survey by WorldPay from FIS Generation Pay Research. 

You’re probably one of the many who enjoyed travelling and at the same time conveniently make foreign payments without incurring overseas transaction costs that are often imposed by several banks or just curious about the list of cash rebate programmes offered by various digital payment token providers on gift cards for various brands such as iTunes, Grab, Shopee, Cold Storage and other F&B places.

New MAS Guidelines for Tightening Regulations for Cryptocurrencies

With cryptocurrency payments becoming more and more popular in Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued guidelines in January of 2022 prohibiting Digital Payment Token (DPT) service providers including payment institutions, banks and other financial institutions, as well as applicants under the Payment Services Act (PS Act) from marketing or advertising their DPT services in public places in Singapore. These include public transport, public transport venues, public websites, social media platforms, broadcast and print media or the provision of physical ATMs. Promoting DPT services through the engagement of third parties, such as social media influencers is also prohibited. 

On the other hand, DPT service providers are allowed to market or advertise on their own corporate websites, mobile applications or official social media accounts.

MAS Assistant Managing Director Ms. Loo Siew Yee said, “MAS strongly encourages the development of blockchain technology and innovative application of crypto tokens in value-adding use cases. But the trading of cryptocurrencies is highly risky and not suitable for the general public. DPT service providers should therefore not portray the trading of DPTs in a manner that trivialises the high risks of trading in DPTs, nor engage in marketing activities that target the general public.”

According to MAS, entities that provide services relating to DPTs are regulated primarily for money laundering and terrorism financing risks.

Despite concerns surrounding cryptocurrency, banks and other financial institutions see value in the new technology. In fact, central banks are now actively experimenting with central bank digital currencies (CBDC) to find out the potential benefits of blockchain technology and distributed ledgers. 

Alongside payment services, banks are also practising the implementation of blockchain technology in other business aspects including but not limited to real-time cross-border transactions and fraud prevention. 

Indeed, blockchain shows great potential in improving and increasing the transparency of the country’s financial system.  

Read more: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/commentary/cryptocurrency-exchange-mas-regulation-investment-future-use-2483721

https://www.mas.gov.sg/news/media-releases/2022/mas-issues-guidelines-to-discourage-cryptocurrency-trading-by-general-public

https://seads.adb.org/solutions/clock-ticking-central-bank-digital-currencies-are-you-ready

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