Singapore Mulls New Rules ICO Investors, to Safeguard Cryptocurrency

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Singapore's central bank is 'assessing' added rules to its cryptocurrency framework to protect investors, an official has revealed.

The new rules will specifically concentrate on investor protection, MAS Deputy Managing Director of Financial Supervision stated in a speech released today.

While the MAS doesn't govern cryptocurrencies directly, the authority has mandated cryptocurrency intermediaries like exchanges and remittance operators to comply by anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFC) rules.

«Virtual currencies first emerged about 10 years back. Since that time, we've observed an increase in the amount of first coin (or token) offerings in Singapore,» the financial regulator said. «As with most financial regulators, MAS does not regulate virtual currencies. But we govern the activities that surround virtual currencies if these pose specific risks. „

The central bank official notably added:

“We're assessing if additional regulations are required for investor protection.»

The remarks imply that the technology-forward Asian hub could be taking a look at a more robust regulatory framework for the domestic cryptocurrency sector that has seen remarkable growth in recent years alongside global crypto markets.

Earlier in February, Singapore deputy prime minister and minister in charge of the central bank Tharman Shanmugaratnam stressed during a parliamentary which, upon «closely analyzing» improvements in the space, the central bank finds no reason to stick to the likes of China in enforcing a cryptocurrency trading ban.

The MAS is also pressing ahead with regulation which will bring retail payment services, including cryptocurrency intermediaries, under the singular regulation of its revised Payment Services Bill sometime this year.