In a new development attesting Singapore’s increasing acceptance of cryptocurrencies, the city-state’s Monetary Authority revealed that it’s willing to assist digital currency companies with setting up local bank accounts.
Bridging the Gap Between Banks and Cryptocurrency Firms
The financial regulator of Singapore revealed that it’s willing to help cryptocurrency companies set up local bank accounts. However, as Bloomberg reports, the city-state doesn’t intend to loosen up its regulations in order to attract more startups.
Speaking on the matter was Ravi Menon, the Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (its de-facto Central Bank), who noted:
We should not be trying to create an extremely lax regulatory environment in order to attract that kind of business. What we are trying to do is to bring the banks and cryptocurrency fintech startups together to see if there is some understanding they can reach.
However, MAS is also fairly clear in that regulatory scrutiny won’t decrease because many aspects of this fairly nascent industry remain risky for investors.
Some of these activities are indeed quite opaque. I would not blame the banks for not opening the bank accounts. – Menon said.
Lurking In Between Models
While on papers the city-state attempts to employ a sense of scrutiny, the reality is that Singapore is shaping up as a crypto-friendly habitat. Signs of this are already showing. Live Bitcoin News reported earlier in October that Singapore has seen more ICOs than the US.
Adding on the matter of ICOs, Menon hinted that the city’s regulators have no issues with them as long as they don’t constitute securities:
If they are not a security, then we don’t have a problem with it. We’ve seen quite a lot of ICO activity that is not security related. And there’s a lot of interesting business models out there trying to raise capital in interesting ways, which as far as the consumers are aware of what these are, we have no issues.
Furthermore, in September, during the week of Consensus in Singapore, a senior official from MAS said that blockchain-based technologies are “fundamental” for financial services.
What do you think of Singapore’s move to facilitate cryptocurrency firms to set up local bank accounts? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!
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