It’s been a busy week for Singapore when it comes to cryptocurrency. The city-state is opening the first fiat-crypto exchange in Southeast Asia, while the financial regulator has pledged to help crypto firms open local bank accounts, according to media reports.
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strong response to
Beta launch of Eurekapro
More than 8,000 people signed up for the launch of the open public beta of Eurekapro’s new fiat-to-crypto exchange, Finenews.asia reported. “A Singapore-based exchange will enable easy fiat-to-crypto exchange and aims to make digital currency more easily accessible to businesses and consumers,” the news site said.
Eurekapro offers its own native token, EKT, and cclaims that it provides the most extensive fiat-to-crypto support in Asia. With its new Singapore exchange, the company – which was previously known as Overswitch and is based in Sweden – will allow users to transact with a number of regional fiat currencies, including Singapore dollar, ringgit Malaysian and Indonesian rupiah.
MAS is cautiously embracing crypto
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will start helping crypto businesses open local bank accounts, Bloomberg reported, citing MAS chief executive Ravi Menon. Although Asia is home to a growing middle class eager to experiment with cryptocurrencies, Singapore is looking to pit its crypto adoption against that of other countries on the continent. For example, MAS does not plan to require licenses for crypto exchanges, as Japanese authorities do.
Japan has become the crypto gold standard in Asia, and indeed the world, as it has largely taken a live-and-let-live approach. But in Singapore, MAS plans to classify different crypto companies into categories. “Utility tokens,” the first of these categories, refers to the use of blockchain technology to facilitate payments for things such as IT services. Menon said virtually no regulation will be needed for such activities.
The second distinction that MAS will establish for the crypto industry concerns digital tokens that look like securities. These cryptocurrencies will fall under the supervision of the Singapore Securities and Futures Act. In fact, Menon acknowledged that there haven’t been many local initial offerings of coins that could fall into this category so far. But those who do will be subject to the relevant legislation. MAS even said he wouldn’t consider many such examples to be viable business models. “Most of them are careful to avoid that line,” Menon said.
Lack of regulatory clarity
While Singapore authorities have openly tried to encourage the growth of fintech companies, crypto firms have found that a lack of regulatory clarity has so far held back their expansion. Part of the problem is that crypto firms have struggled to get local bank accounts; in some cases, the banks ended up closing the accounts these companies managed to open.
Still, Menon acknowledged that the crypto sector is different from the fintech space in many ways, noting that the reluctance of local banks to get involved is understandable, due to the arguably “opaque” practices of some crypto companies. cryptography. He said the regulator’s primary concern is to deter money laundering and protect consumer interests. But he also noted that there are ultimately limits to the regulatory scope of MAS.
Do you think Singapore will eventually welcome crypto businesses to the same degree as Japan? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Eureakapro
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