March 1, 2024

Singapore to restrict retail crypto speculation with new rules

According to MAS, speculative cryptocurrency trading is partly fueled by unverified success stories, celebrity endorsements and FOMO on good returns.

In response to the feedback received on its proposed Digital Payment Token (DPT) regulations, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) laid down measures for DPT service providers to discourage speculation in cryptocurrency investments.

The de facto central bank of Singapore, MAS announced five ways DPT service providers can help retail clients avoid price speculation. DPT service providers must determine their customer’s risk awareness before offering crypto services. In addition, DPT service providers were advised against providing any incentives to trade in cryptocurrencies. Thirdly, DPT service providers cannot offer financing, margin or leveraged transactions.

Refusing locally issued credit card payments is another measure MAS believes will discourage speculation in crypto investments. Lastly, crypto holdings will not be considered in determining a customer’s net worth. Speaking about the decision, Ho Hern Shin, deputy managing director (financial supervision) of MAS, stated:

“While these business conduct and consumer access measures can help meet this objective, they cannot insulate customers from losses associated with the inherently speculative and highly risky nature of cryptocurrency trading.”

According to the MAS, speculative cryptocurrency trading poses “significant risks and consumer harms,” partly fueled by unverified success stories, celebrity endorsements and the fear of missing out on good returns.

Related: Singapore central bank to trial live wholesale CBDC for settlements

On Nov. 15, Singapore’s central bank included five additional industry pilots in Project Guardian to test various use cases around asset tokenization. As explained by MAS:

“These developments under Project Guardian will catalyze the institutional adoption of digital assets, with the aim of freeing up liquidity, unlocking investment opportunities, and increasing the efficiency of financial markets.”

Out of the 17 financial institutions members of Project Guardian, the five pilot projects are distributed among Citi, T. Rowe Price, Fidelity International, Ant Group, BNY Mellon, OCBC, JPMorgan Apollo and Franklin Templeton.

In addition to the five pilots, MAS launched Global Layer One to explore the design of an open digital infrastructure that will host tokenized financial assets and applications.

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