Singapore enforces Strict crypto rules beyond borders: 30 Days Deadline

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Crypto

Singapore, known for its progressive stance on financial technology, has recently expanded its regulatory oversight on cryptocurrency-related activities. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced on Tuesday that it would now regulate custodial services and cross-border money transfers involving digital assets, even if the transactions do not occur within the city-state.

This move comes as an amendment to the Payment Services Act (PS Act), a framework designed to regulate payment service providers. Initially passed in 2021, the legislation aimed to provide regulatory clarity in the rapidly evolving digital asset landscape. However, the amendments, which were supposed to be enacted earlier, have only been implemented recently, reflecting the growing importance of regulating digital asset activities amidst global market volatility.

The expansion of regulatory oversight is seen as a significant step towards enhancing user protection and ensuring financial stability within the digital asset world. Angela Ang, a senior policy adviser at TRM Labs and former MAS regulator, hailed the move as a long-awaited clarification, particularly regarding custody services.

Crypto Regulations and Investor Protection

Under the new regulations, cryptocurrency service providers must adhere to stringent requirements. These include segregating customers’ assets in trust accounts, maintaining transparent records, and implementing robust systems and controls. These measures are aimed at safeguarding investors’ funds and mitigating the risk of financial malpractice within the industry.

Entities already engaged in crypto-related activities under the Payment Services Act must undergo a transition process within 30 days and submit a license application within six months. The application process entails providing an attestation report of compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism requirements, validated by an external auditor within nine months.

MAS has made it clear that entities failing to comply with these regulations will be required to cease all crypto-related activities. This stringent enforcement underscores Singapore’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of its financial system while fostering innovation in the burgeoning crypto sector.

In conclusion, Singapore’s decision to expand regulatory oversight on crypto activities reflects its proactive approach to addressing the challenges posed by digital currencies. By implementing robust regulations, Singapore aims to strike a balance between fostering innovation and safeguarding investor interests in the rapidly evolving crypto landscape.