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Singapore will remain open-minded and will not regulate cryptocurrencies. The managing director of MAS said that money laundering is not the fault of cryptocurrencies.
Recently during an interview with Bloomberg, an official of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which serves as the central bank and financial regulator of Singapore, said that MAS has no plans of regulating cryptocurrencies. The central bank will keep “an open mind,” though the official also stated the necessity of establishing anti-money laundering control in the future.
During the interview, MAS Managing Director, Ravi Menon said that:
“We’ve taken the approach that the currency itself does not pose the risk that warrants regulation. Our approach is to look at the activity around the cryptocurrency and then make an assessment of what regulation would be suitable.”
“It is a known fact that cryptocurrencies are quite often abused for illicit financing purposes, so we do want to have AML/CFT controls in place. So those requirements apply to the activity around cryptocurrency, rather than the cryptocurrency itself.”
What’s more, Menon, unlike most of other authorities, didn't undermine or criticize the cryptocurrencies. He said that if cross-border remittance through cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is more convenient and efficient, the central bank and scholars should focus more on how to use Blockchain and cryptocurrencies to benefit more people. The scholars and professionals should consider whether cryptocurrencies could make cross-border inter-banking payments cheaper, faster and more efficient instead of merely thinking about the economic value of cryptocurrencies as investing products.
Singapore has always been the advocate of Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. The MAS is one of the early adopters of Blockchain technology. On Oct. 25, Singapore and Hong Kong announced a cooperation on a cross-border trade project based on Blockchain technology by linking their trade finance platforms.
With “an open mind,” Singapore could be one of the most important countries for the development of Blockchain technology. It also has the potential of being the hub of Blockchain technology in the future.
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