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Singapore announces commencement of new regulatory framework for crypto businesses

Image by Fabio Achilli from Flickr

Wed, 29 Jan 2020, 04:58 am UTC

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced on Tuesday that it updated its regulatory framework for payment services with the commencement of the Payment Services Act (PS Act).

The new PS Act aims to strengthen consumer protection and promote confidence for e-payments. Among other things, it brings "Digital Payment Token" (DPT) services under the existing anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) regulations, CoinDesk reported.

DPT services cover all cryptocurrency-related businesses and exchanges operating in the country. With the coming of the PS Act into effect, these businesses are now required to register and apply for a license to operate in Singapore.

Firms have a month to register with the MAS as of Jan. 28. Once registered, they need to apply for a payment institution license within six months.

“The Payment Services Act provides a forward-looking and flexible regulatory framework for the payments industry. 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,” said Loo Siew Yee, Assistant Managing Director (Policy, Payments & Financial Crime), MAS.

The MAS engaged with the industry through dialogues and public consultations when they designed the new regulatory framework.

In addition, the MAS and Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) has launched Payments Regulatory Evaluation Programme or PREP, an initiative to help connect payment industry with legal service providers to support the transition to the new act.

The Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Start-ups, Singapore (ACCESS), the Singapore Blockchain Association (SBA) and the Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) are set to organize workshops on licensing under the Payment Services Act 2019. MAS representatives will be conducting the seminar.

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