Singapore Considering Regulations For Virtual Currencies

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The central bank of Singapore is considering introducing new regulations aimed at offering investors more protections with regards to virtual currencies. Singapore has set a goal of becoming Asia’s financial technology hub. Currently the city-state lacks any regulations governing virtual currencies and last year urged its citizens to be extremely cautious when investing in cryptos.

“We are assessing if additional regulations are required for investor protection,” the deputy managing director in charge of Financial Supervision at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Ong Chong Tee, told Reuters.

Legal tender

With regards to virtual currency regulations in Asia the leading countries are Japan and South Korea. Last year in April Bitcoin (BTC) was recognized as legal tender and this resulted in crypto activity in the country increasing. So far 11 virtual currency exchanges have been approved. Japan’s friendly policies with regards to cryptos have had mixed success as it has not completely eliminated illegal activity.

A case in point is the hacking of CoinCheck crypto exchange where approximately $530 million belonging to investors was lost. On the other hand it has resulted in wide acceptance of virtual currencies. For instance Japan now boasts of around 4,000 commercial points which accept payments in Bitcoin. Additionally close to 33% of all Bitcoin transactions across the globe are denominated in Japanese Yen.

South Korea and Russia

Though South Korea had initially taken an unfriendly stance towards virtual currencies the stance has softened and this has resulted in the trading of virtual currencies ‘legalized’ to a certain extent. The government of South Korea has however not softened its stance on anonymous accounts.

Russia is not being left behind with regards to crypto market regulations. The country is reportedly working on legislation aimed at legalizing the virtual currency market. Working on the laws is the country’s finance ministry as well as the country’s central bank.

The draft laws being worked upon are seeking to establish a legal basis for issuing ICO tokens besides regulating crypto market turnover. If signed into law virtual currency exchanges will be required to seek licensing in the country and comply with existing securities laws. Cryptos will however not serve as means of payment as the only legal tender allowed in the Ruble.

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