Singapore is working closely to regulate any Bitcoin payments. The minister for the nation’s central banking authority; the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), is working closely to create a regulatory framework for all Bitcoin payments.
Despite Tharman Shanmugaratnam confirmed that the Monetary Authority of Singapore has been monitoring cryptocurrencies; it has no intention of actually regulating them, although certain peripheral activities will require a legal framework. However, they are now working to create a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency payment services, as a way to ensure that these are not misused for money laundering and terrorism financing. He went on to explain in a statement;
“Virtual currencies can go beyond being a means of payment, and evolve into ‘second generation’ tokens representing benefits such as ownership in assets, like a share or bond certificate. These are financial activities that falls under MAS’ regulatory ambit”.
Despite the fact that trading cryptocurrencies are very popular in the US, Japan and Hong Kong, the trading volume is actually fairly low in Singapore, which makes it easier to regulate the Bitcoin payments. Just like the trading volume, in other countries, many retailers are starting to accept Bitcoin; however, there are only about twenty different retailers in Singapore that accept Bitcoin. This research, according to the central banking authority, again, makes it easier for Singapore authorities to keep track, and regulate all of the Bitcoin payments.
A couple of months ago, back in August, the MAS announced that Bitcoin tokens might be classified as securities, and the financial regulator has gone on to further back this up, issuing statements warning investors of potential fraudulent ICO schemes.
To show just how much they are cracking down on Bitcoin payments, just last month, the bank accounts of many Bitcoin businesses, which were based in Singapore actually had their bank accounts closed with warning, or an explanation. The MAS, although backed up this decision, did take the time to say that as the closure represented a commercial decision that was taken by banks, it would not interfere with the process.