Singapore Fires Compliance Warning at 8 Crypto Exchanges, Orders an ICO to Halt Sales

Singapore’s central bank said today, May 24, that it had issued a warning to eight cryptocurrency exchanges over securities compliance and ordered an ICO to stop issuing tokens.

In a press release, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) reiterated operators in the city-state “are responsible for ensuring that they comply with all relevant laws.”

The warnings continue the narrative put forward by authorities this year, with Singapore aiming to provide a permissive, yet regulated environment for blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses.

“The number of digital token exchanges and digital token offerings in Singapore has been increasing,” MAS’ assistant managing director of capital markets Lee Boon Ngiap commented:

“We do not see a need to restrict them if they are bona fide businesses. But if any digital token exchange, issuer or intermediary breaches our securities laws, MAS will take firm action.”

The press release does not name the specific exchanges and ICO issuer involved.

The practice of trading digital tokens that could constitute securities under various jurisdictions – but without having official license to do so – has become a common phenomenon since 2017’s ICO wave.

Regulators around the world, particularly conspicuously in the U.S., have repeatedly warned of the need to comply with existing laws, and continue to take action against those actors failing to do so.