Singapore Plans to Become Magnet for Crypto Activities, Government Mulls Regulating Crypto Space

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) indicates that the country aims to become a major crypto hub in the coming years.

Singapore Plans to Become Magnet for Crypto Activities, Government Mulls Regulating Crypto Space

Photo Credit: UnSplash/ Joshua Ang

Singapore is one of the first nations to have started supporting cryptocurrencies

Highlights
  • Singapore is ramping up crypto adoption, regulation efforts
  • Singapore’s MAS chief Ravi Menon has revealed plans
  • Regulating the crypto-space and tuning cybersecurity are top priotities

At a time the crypto-space is witnessing a rapid global expansion, Singapore is planning to create an adoption-driven, pro-crypto climate in the island nation. Ravi Menon, the managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has expressed relief that the city-state kept an open mind around the crypto-space before many other countries. Despite lacking clarity on how the future of cryptocurrencies would unfold, Menon said cryptocurrencies are articles for investment in the prospective future. Currently, it is legal in Singapore to hold and trade in cryptocurrencies.

Expressing an interest in further developing the crypto and blockchain technologies, the Singaporean regulator advised other nations also to enter the cryptocurrency space.

“We think the best approach is not to clamp down or ban these things. But not to get into this game, I think risks Singapore being left behind. Getting early into that game means we can have a head start, and better understand its potential benefits as well as its risks,” Menon said in a recent interview.

The country is working on a regulatory framework and tax regime around cryptocurrencies in order to be able to reap maximum benefits, Menon added.

“If and when a crypto economy takes off in a way, we want to be one of the leading players,” Menon said. “It could help create jobs, create value-add, and I think more than the financial sector, the other sectors of the economy will potentially gain.”

Recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had also said that while the advancement of cryptocurrencies can be slowed down by governments delaying regulation and legalisation processes, these digital assets cannot be destroyed now.

Meanwhile, the public sentiment around these cryptocurrencies in Singapore seems to be getting trendier by the day.

As per a report by research firm TripleA, over 550,000 Singaporeans — making up 9.4 percent of the country's total population — are crypto-owners.

The country's biggest bank DBS Group has also created a platform to facilitate digital token transactions.

Menon however has highlighted that Singapore still needs to work on finetuning its cyber-security solutions to safeguard the crypto-space.

A recent report has revealed that the total crypto-related crime in 2020 has amounted to around $10.52 billion (roughly Rs. 79,194 crore).

The same report also highlighted that scams and frauds are a major problem, which made for 67.8 percent of the total cryptocurrency crime in 2020.


Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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Radhika Parashar
Radhika Parashar is a senior correspondent for Gadgets 360. She has been reporting on tech and telecom for the last three years now and will be focussing on writing about all things crypto. Besides this, she is a major sitcom nerd and often replies in Chandler Bing and Michael Scott references. For tips or queries you could reach out to her at RadhikaP@ndtv.com. More
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