Singapore Implements New Rules: Crypto Trading Restrictions Now In Effect

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According to a Bloomberg report, Singapore has proposed additional regulations to reinforce its stance against retail speculation in crypto assets. The new measures include prohibiting individual investors from borrowing to trade and disallowing digital payment token service providers from offering incentives for retail trading, as well as financing, margin, or leverage transactions. 

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced these regulatory changes in a statement on Thursday, expanding their scope to cover all investors, regardless of residency.

Singapore Expands Crypto Regulations

Per the report, the MAS will gradually phase in the expanded measures starting from mid-2024 to protect retail investors from potential risks associated with cryptocurrency trading. 

The central bank aims to mitigate the impact of “high-profile crypto blowups,” such as the recent collapse of hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC), by distancing itself from speculative activities in digital assets. 

Previous measures to restrict retail participation, including plans to ban lending and staking, have been introduced as part of Singapore’s ongoing efforts to ensure a “safer crypto market.”

Under the new guidelines, digital payment token service providers will also be prohibited from accepting locally issued credit card payments. Incentives like referrals, learn-and-earn programs, and similar promotions will also fall under the restrictions. 

Investors Advised To Avoid ‘Unregulated Crypto Entities’

The MAS emphasized that even with these proposed measures, customers should remain cautious as digital asset trading inherently carries “speculative and high-risk characteristics”. It is advised for individuals based in Singapore to avoid dealing with “unregulated entities,” including those based overseas.

The final guidelines were released after the MAS received feedback on its initial proposals for digital payment token services, which were unveiled in October 2022.

The regulatory framework will require firms to maintain high availability and recoverability of critical systems, similar to the requirements imposed on traditional banks. 

Additionally, these firms will be expected to establish processes for handling customer complaints and resolving disputes, ensuring enhanced consumer protection within the crypto industry.

The MAS aims to safeguard retail investors, promote crypto market integrity, and establish Singapore as a trusted global financial center by implementing these measures.

Crypto
The total crypto market cap on the verge of reaching the $1.4 trillion mark on the daily chart. Source: TOTAL on TradingView.com

According to CoinGecko data, the global cryptocurrency market cap stands at $1.37 trillion today. Over the past 24 hours, the market cap has experienced a 2.73% change, indicating fluctuations in the overall market valuation.

Bitcoin (BTC), on the other hand, currently has a market cap of $732 billion, which is approximately 49.46% of the total cryptocurrency market cap. The leading cryptocurrency on the market currently trades at $37,000, reflecting a 2% gain in the past 24 hours. 

Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com 

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