More than 100 companies that have applied for a license to offer crypto services in Singapore have either been rejected or their applications have been withdrawn. “Due to the speed and cross-border nature of the transactions, cryptocurrencies could be misused for money laundering, terrorist financing or proliferation financing,” said the country’s central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Tough crypto regulation in Singapore
Since Singapore began regulating the crypto sector at the beginning of the year, around 170 companies have applied for a license to offer “digital payment token services,” which also include crypto-related services.
However, more than 100 companies that have applied for a license have either been denied or withdrawn, Nikkei Asia reported on Monday.
Companies that were active in the country before the introduction of the licensing regime were granted exceptions until their licensing applications were processed. Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam told Parliament in July that 90 companies were operating under such exceptions.
A spokesman for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank and regulator for the crypto sector, told the news agency: “Cryptocurrencies could be due to the speed and cross-border nature of the transactions.” The spokesman stated:
Singapore digital payment token service providers … must meet requirements to mitigate such risks, including the need to exercise reasonable customer due diligence, perform regular account reviews, and monitor and report suspicious transactions.
So far only three companies are listed as licensed units on the MAS website: DBS Vickers Securities, a unit of DBS Group Holdings, the largest bank in Southeast Asia; Digital payments startup FOMO Pay; and Australia’s Independent Reserve. The MAS said in November that Singapore was keen to become a global crypto hub.
Head of Capital Markets at DBS and Chairman of the Bank’s Crypto Exchange said in September: “We are growing very quickly. Investors are gradually exploring cryptocurrencies and digital assets. “
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) claimed the reason for closing its Singapore exchange was due to an 18 percent stake in Hg Exchange (HGX), a regulated stock exchange in Singapore. However, Bloomberg reported that the real reason was because Binance failed to qualify for a license to operate a crypto exchange.
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Source: Crypto News Austria