SINGAPORE, July 19 (Bloomberg): Singapore intends to broaden the scope of cryptocurrency regulations and pushed back against claims that some recently collapsed digital-asset outfits were regulated in the city state.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore plans to consult on proposed steps in the next few months, its managing director Ravi Menon said in a speech after releasing the central bank’s annual report Tuesday.
In responses to questions, he said the revised rules may include further tightening retail-investor access to crypto and widening the ambit of regulations to cover more activities.
Menon said some strained crypto players reported as based in the city state have "little to do with crypto-related regulation in Singapore.” He cited TerraForm Labs and Luna Foundation Guard -- which were behind the collapsed TerraUSD stablecoin -- hedge fund Three Arrows Capital and lender Vauld.
Some crypto firms with links to Singapore imploded or came under severe pressure this year as a global wave of monetary tightening sparked a meltdown that wiped more than $1 trillion off the value of digital tokens.
Three Arrows Capital -- formerly a poster child for unbridled optimism about virtual assets -- declared bankruptcy this month. Previously, it was reprimanded by MAS for providing false information and exceeding the limit on its assets under management.
The fund was not regulated under the Payment Services Act and had ceased to manage funds in Singapore prior to the problems leading to its bankruptcy, Menon said.
TerraForm Labs and Luna Foundation Guard aren’t licensed or regulated by MAS, nor have they applied for any license or sought exemption from holding any license, he added. Crypto lender Vauld doesn’t hold a license from MAS, according to Menon.
Vauld has suspended token withdrawals, one of a number of crypto outfits globally that hit trouble as leveraged bets imploded.
Singapore’s authorities have long maintained a wary embrace of the crypto industry, handing just 14 firms the regulatory nod to provide digital-token payment services locally, a fraction of almost 200 applicants.
The city state is tightening rules around crypto investments, including clamping down on marketing and requiring virtual-asset providers to be licensed locally even if they only do business overseas.
Next month the central bank will hold a seminar to shed more light on its position on crypto regulation, Menon said.
"We will set out how our developmental and regulatory approaches will work in harmony to achieve the vision of Singapore as an innovative and responsible digital asset hub,” he said. - Bloomberg