MAS doesn’t trust retail crypto investments, mulling more regulations


The managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Ravi Menon, addressed the agency’s mixed signals on crypto in the public sphere at a seminar on Aug. 29.

The public claimed that local regulators were spreading crypto-positive sentiments while simultaneously threatening more regulations. According to the new statement from Menon, the observation is not entirely wrong. He says the agency needs to do “a better job explaining” the situation.

Overall, MAS is pro-digital assets, as directly stated by Menon, “yes to digital asset innovation, no to cryptocurrency speculation.” Regulators want the island country to become a hub for fintech innovation and distributed ledger activity.

Though according to recent statements, where the problem lies is within cryptocurrencies themselves.

This is where MAS’ “stringent and lengthy licensing process“ for crypto services comes into play, Menon explains. It also is the reason for warnings against cryptocurrency retail investments and restrictions on retail cryptocurrencies.

“Cryptocurrencies have taken a life of their own outside of the distributed ledger – and this is the source of the crypto world’s problems.”

Regulators cite the extreme volatility of the crypto market, which rules them out from being considered viable currency or an investment asset. MAS claims that the price of said currencies does not correlate with “underlying economic value related to their use on the distributed ledger.”

Related: Singapore venture firm launches $100M Web3 and metaverse fund

These comments come after a string of recent developments from local Singaporean authorities on the topic of digital currencies. On Friday, Aug. 26, MAS sent out questionnaires to clients on business activity and holdings ahead of any final decisions.

Crypto trading platform scored approval from regulators in Singapore to set up operations in the country on June 22.

In July, it already had its eye on limitations to retail participation in cryptocurrency-related activities.

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