March 5, 2024

Singapore plans joint crypto pilots with Japan, Switzerland and UK

Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator is seeking closer cross-border collaboration for its asset tokenization project.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank and financial regulator, is planning to start crypto-related cooperation with some European countries and Japan.

The MAS officially announced on Oct. 30 that it is partnering with the Financial Services Agency of Japan (FSA), the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to promote joint digital asset pilots. The authority specifically seeks to carry out such pilots in relation to fixed income, foreign exchange and asset management products.

The initiative builds upon Singapore’s ongoing asset tokenization project known as Project Guardian, which was launched in 2022. Under the MAS Project Guardian, Singapore’s central bank collaborated with 15 financial institutions to complete pilots on asset tokenization, which demonstrated a significant potential for transaction efficiency.

“As the pilots grow in scale and sophistication, there is a need for closer cross-border collaboration among policymakers and regulators,” the MAS wrote, adding that the regulator has therefore established a Project Guardian policymaker group comprising the FSA, the FCA and FINMA.

The group aims to initiate policy and accounting discussions and identify potential risks and legal gaps related to digital assets and tokenized solutions. The project also seeks to explore the development of common standards for the design of digital asset networks and find best practices across various jurisdictions. Other work vectors include interoperability, regulatory sandboxes and education related to the digital currency industry.

Related: Singapore awards major payment institution license to Sygnum Bank subsidiary

“MAS’ partnership with the FSA, the FCA and FINMA shows a strong desire among policymakers to deepen our understanding of the opportunities and risks arising from digital asset innovation,” MAS deputy managing director of markets and development, Leong Sing Chiong, said. He added:

“Through this partnership, we hope to promote the development of common standards and regulatory frameworks that can better support cross border interoperability, as well as sustainable growth of the digital asset ecosystem.”

Singapore has been actively collaborating with global financial authorities in the field of digital currency. In September 2023, Singapore MAS completed a joint test of the cross-border trading and settlement of wholesale central bank digital currencies in collaboration with the Bank for International Settlements and the central banks of France and Switzerland.

Magazine: Deposit risk: What do crypto exchanges really do with your money?