Singapore Regulator Pledges To Be ‘Relentless’ On Crypto

Singapore will be “brutal and relentlessly tough” on bad behavior in the crypto industry, according to its fintech policy chief, marking a sea change in rhetoric after years of the city-state courting the sector.

Sopnendu Mohanty, director of financial technology at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the country’s central bank, questioned the value of private cryptocurrencies and said he expected an alternative backed by the State be launched within three years.

“We have been called out by many cryptocurrencies for not being friendly,” he told the Financial Times in an interview. “My answer was: friendly for what? Friend for a real economy or friend for an unreal economy? »


Mohanty added, “We have zero tolerance for any market misbehavior. If someone has done a bad thing, we are brutal and relentlessly tough.

The crypto meltdown has hardened officials in Singapore, where many crypto businesses had been established due to the perceived favorable regulatory environment and low taxes.

But crypto exchanges, including Bybit and Binance, have avoided the city-state in recent months as the MAS began rolling out increasingly restrictive rules.

Mohanty was speaking as South Korean prosecutors approached Singapore-based Terraform Labs, the company behind the collapse of stablecoin terraUSD and its sister token luna.

In the aftermath of Luna’s $40 billion wipeout, leading crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, headquartered in Singapore, is also facing a slump after failing to meet margin calls.

“I think the world as a whole is lost. . . in private currency, which is causing all this turmoil in the market,” Mohanty said.

He said Singapore had applied an “extremely slow” and “extremely draconian” due diligence process for licensing crypto businesses.

Singapore has approved a few license applications to operate a crypto business., a cryptocurrency trading platform, received approval in principle to operate on Wednesday. has also received a license in Dubai and plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange service there.

But Mohanty’s comments suggest some crypto firms may face an uncertain future in Singapore.

This week, the MAS co-launched a “centre of excellence” in the city-state to work on the development of a central bank digital currency, a concept several countries are exploring to potentially wrest control of online payments. to crypto companies.

Led by software developer Mojaloop and backed by Singapore’s state fund Temasek, the group hopes to implement digital currency into a system that enables low-cost international payments.

Mohanty said his “best bet” was that a digital currency would be integrated into the platform within “a few years”, adding that it would not be exclusive to Singapore and would be available to other central banks.

“We are relentlessly focused on the infrastructure of the future economy, which can be based on a digital asset,” he said.

Video: Cryptocurrencies: How Regulators Lost Control

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Singapore Regulator Pledges To Be ‘Relentless’ On Crypto

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