Singapore’s central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), recently published an update to the regulations for firms looking to conduct initial coin offerings (ICO) in the city-state. MAS says the updated guidelines cover both security and utility token sales as Singapore seeks to establish a firm presence in the developing cryptocurrency narrative in Southeast Asia.
Updated ICO Payments Framework
In a report titled “A Guide to Digital Token Offerings,” the MAS provided an updated set of guidelines for ICOs in the city-state. According to the new regulations, all token sales must include an offer plus a prospectus based on the existing provisions of the Securities and Futures Act (SFA).
Offers below $5 million or private sales to less than 50 persons are, however, exempt from the including prospectus. In both cases, the exemption only covers offers within 12 months.
The updated guidelines also include rules for ICO platform operators and other intermediaries such as exchange platforms, financial advisers, etc. The new rules stipulate that all these intermediaries must have the necessary licensing requirements. Also, both issuers and intermediaries must act in compliance with anti-money laundering (AML).
For Singapore, its new ICO regulatory framework applies not only to security token sales but also to utility tokens. Thus, utility token issuers will also comply with AML and counter- terrorist financing (CFT) regulations.
The updated guidelines are a follow up of the Payment Services Bill which is already before the country’s Parliament. The move signals a shift from a neutral to a more hands-on approach to regulating the industry.
Pursuing a Robust Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology Agenda
For Singapore, the goal appears to be one of strengthening its cryptocurrency regulatory landscape rather than adopting a hard-line stance against the industry. This position is in many ways indicative of the approach taken by countries in Southeast Asia.
To achieve this, the city-state’s government is trying to broaden the scope of the MAS’ regulatory mandate to include digital currencies. The MAS is also looking to help cryptocurrency businesses secure beneficial banking partnerships.
Apart from the cryptocurrency market itself, Singapore is also making significant strides in blockchain technology adoption and utilization. In November, Live Bitcoin News reported on the partnership between the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and MAS to launch a blockchain-based Delivery versus Payment (DvP) settlement framework.
What do you think about Singapore’s updated ICO regulations? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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