Good news from Asia at last: a new body aiming to facilitate Bitcoin’s expansion in Singapore has formally introduced itself to the community this week. 

The Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Startups, Singapore (ACCESS) was formed by various members of the Singapore Bitcoin community to facilitate “an open and clear dialogue between Singapore crytocurrency businesses and the wider public, including regulators,” it was announced in a statement issued today. 

ACCESS is the first such organization to surface in the Asian Bitcoin space, an area which currently variously contends with myriad governmental stances and restrictions. 

The statement continues to note that to support current development, Singapore requires “a regulatory framework that balances the necessity for innovation with the duty to protect the interests of consumer end-users and commercial entities engaging with this industry.” 

The full membership of ACCESS is yet to be fully understood, but participants in the scheme are set to include itBit, Coinpip and Tembusu Terminals, a Singapore-based startup which distributes Bitcoin ATMs designed and produced locally, Channel News Asia reports. 

Coinpip’s Anson Zeall will furthermore be the first chairman, and highlights a further principal aim of ACCESS as a facilitator of public acceptance: 
“ACCESS aims to provide an open and clear dialogue between Singapore cryptocurrency businesses and the wider public, including regulators. With the forming of our association, we will help facilitate an ecosystem where Singapore can be a hub for cryptocurrencies businesses to grow and create jobs related to this new and growing technology.” 
Formation of such entities has traditionally been treated with skepticism by many, as it is often viewed as an attempt to regulate the Bitcoin industry and tarnish its central statute as a wholly decentralized network. 

News sources are already hinting at this aim being within reach for ACCESS, with talk of “fostering ethical business practices” echoing the language used in similar pseudo-regulatory talks in the US. goes further, asserting that “While Bitcoin itself cannot be regulated, the businesses that deal in it can.” 

Given the location, however, dialogue with eagle-eyed government is an inevitable necessity, and ACCESS will more than likely be a favorable first move over any government-initiated alternative. 

Experts' opinion:

"...My impression is that Singapore has a very active Bitcoin start-up scene and that the government has recognized Bitcoin's huge potential for growth and innovation. 

"Like all governments they want to keep a certain control and they don't know how to do it, as Bitcoin is uncontrollable, but the government of Singapore is a clever one, so I am optimistic they will not stifle the flourishing Bitcoin economy but rather attract more start-ups from abroad to come to Singapore. - Aaron Koenig, General Secretary, Global Bitcoin Alliance

- Aaron Koenig, General Secretary, Global Bitcoin Alliance

"The creation of entities like the Association of Crypto-Currency Enterprises and Start-ups, Singapore (ACCESS) will help to develop business, inform the general public and lobby regulators about digital currencies. The users and applications of digital currencies took most governments and banking by surprise, and as they've seen it is unstoppable. It will also unite a voice in favor of its acceptance, which will bring international investors and companies to establish and develop their companies in what would be an embracing and friendly cryptocurrency environment.

- Jose Rodriguez

The SG government can only regulate entries and exits of cryptocurrencies, such as the exchanges or ATMs. I think ACCESS can only assist in the matter while keeping over regulation of the core technology from happening (which would drive things underground).

Mike Yeung