Despite the assurances that Singapore will not regulate cryptocurrencies, its Monetary Authority of Singapore has issued new guidelines that outline how initial coin offerings or token sales would be treated under the country’s securities laws. The guidelines include several case studies on cryptocurrencies and ICOs.

In its Nov. 14, 2017 statement, the Singaporean de facto central bank claimed that the digital tokens sold through the Blockchain-based ICOs could be considered as securities under certain conditions based on the provisions of the country’s Securities and Futures Act and the Financial Advisers Act.

Part of the statement read:

"Offers or issues of digital tokens may be regulated by MAS if the digital tokens are capital markets products under the SFA. Capital markets products include any securities, futures contracts and contracts or arrangements for purposes of leveraged foreign exchange trading."

Other highlights of the new guidelines

The new guidelines also stated that other laws in Singapore may be used to regulate the token sales conducted in the country. The laws include those that do not ultimately come under MAS’ direct authority.

"Digital tokens that perform functions which may not be within MAS' regulatory purview may nonetheless be subject to other legislation for combating money laundering and terrorism financing.”

Concerning money laundering and terrorism financing, MAS claimed that it will create a new payments service framework covering firms involved in “the dealing or exchange of cryptocurrencies for fiat or other digital currencies.”

"Such intermediaries will be required to put in place policies, procedures and controls to address such risks. These will include requirements to conduct customer due diligence, monitor transactions, perform screening, report suspicious transactions and keep adequate records.”

In August 2017, MAS officials already announced that certain ICOs will be subjected to the country’s securities laws based on their cryptographic data.

Singapore has recently taken the spotlight and became one of the favored countries for ICOs after the China ban on ICOs.