From now on crypto firms in Singapore have to be licensed
With the new payments law, all crypto businesses and brokers operating in Singapore should be licensed.
The Payment Services Act was passed back in January 2019 and was implemented this Tuesday, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). From now on, all payments firms, including crypto, are obliged to be supervised and licensed by the official regulation authority of the country.
The new act implies that all ‘digital payment token services’ have to comply with anti-money laundering (AML) and counter financing of terrorism (CFT) requirements. That, in turn, was done because MAS is convinced that cryptocurrencies impose serious money laundering risks as they are based on the blockchain technology which ensures a complete anonymity and borderless nature of transactions.
There will now be three types of licenses – a money-changing license, a standard payment institution, and a major payment institution. Loo Siew Yee, assistant managing director at MAS, said:
“The activity-based and risk-focused regulatory structure allows rules to be applied proportionately and to be robust to changing business models. The PS Act will facilitate growth and innovation while mitigating risk and fostering confidence in our payments landscape.”
Among the first companies that are planning to apply for licensing in the nearest future is Singapore-headquartered crypto exchange Zipmex. As the company’s CEO, Marcus Lim, believes, the recently imposed regulation will bring “legitimacy and credibility” to digital assets.
Moreover, Japan-based crypto exchange Liquid and U.K.-based bitcoin wallet provider Luno are also expected to apply for the license in the foreseeable future.
That makes Singapore one of the first countries with the more or less understandable system of crypto-companies regulation.
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