HomeLatest NewsSingapore adopts new law requiring virtual asset service providers to get licenses

Singapore adopts new law requiring virtual asset service providers to get licenses


In an attempt to implement tighter crypto rules, Singapore’s unicameral parliament has approved a law that will ensure all virtual asset service providers (VASPs) operating in Singapore apply for licenses.

This comes amid a spirited effort by Singapore to put in place regulations to counter money laundering and financing of terrorism.

Some of the key points within the approved Financial Services and Markets Bill include:

  • Assigning new powers to Singapore’s Monetary Authority to bar persons considered as unfit to perform key functions, roles, and activities from working in the fields of payments and risk management within Singapore.
  • Increasing the maximum penalty imposed on financial institutions that disrupt their services to $738,000 (SGD 1 million).

Scrapped DBS plans to open crypto exchange services to retail investors

The parliament passed the bill after Singapore’s giant banking giant DBS did away with its plans to open crypto exchange services to retail investors due to rising regulatory concerns. Previously, the bank had made its intentions of opening members-only services on the DBS Digital Exchange crypto trading platform to retail traders.

It is not clear how the new regulatory framework shall impact major crypto players including DBS within the country. The law might hinder some crypto players from entering the South-Asian country market.

In December 2021, cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance announced that it would shut down its Singapore exchange and rather focus on a “blockchain innovation hub” in the country.

Last month the High Court of Singapore made ruling recognizing crypto as property and granted propriety injunctions against persons suspected of engaging in theft.

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