Singapore warns of ‘brutal, unyieldingly tough’ crypto regulations • The Register

In the same week that it welcomed the opening of a local center of excellence focused on crypto-inspired central bank digital currencies, Singapore’s Monetary Authority (MAS) has warned crypto cowboys that they have a tough road ahead in the island nation.

The Center of Excellence (COE) was founded by the Mojaloop Foundation – an open-source effort to create payment platforms to make digital financial services accessible to those who can access banks. The COE aims to “accelerate financial inclusion in emerging markets” through hackathons, workshops and pilot projects while exploring the expanded payment capabilities of CBDCs.”

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund has invested in Mojaloop, and MAS fintech chief Sopnendu Mohanty serves as board advisor, and the agency sits alongside people from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google and other representatives of the foundation’s working group.

Mohanty hailed the COE and Foundation as “a step forward in the future of financial services” and said he looks forward to MAS supporting the COE’s efforts to “encourage greater international collaboration to enable more seamless cross-border transactions.” .

But the FinTech boss also outlined a less enthusiastic attitude towards more permissive use of digital currencies.

“We do not tolerate bad market behavior. When someone has done something bad, we are brutal and unrelentingly tough,” Mohanty said The Financial Times.

“We have been scolded by many cryptocurrencies for not being friendly. My answer was: friendly for what? Friendly to a real economy or friendly to an unreal economy?” Mohanty doubled.

The official also predicted that Singapore would offer a state-backed alternative within three years as he blamed the private cryptocurrency for causing market turmoil – like the $40 billion crash of not-so-stable coin Luna.

Mohanty explained that efforts like Mojaloop are more to Singapore’s liking, noting that eventually digital currencies will be integrated into the platform and central banks will be made available outside of Singapore.

The MAS itself has also warned against the Alterna Cash in the past. In January, it advised against its trading and took action to limit the promotion of digital payment brands in certain public spaces.

Mohanty is not the first senior Singapore official to rail against crypto. In late May, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat told conference attendees that retail investors should not buy cryptocurrency, although he also stated last week that “the potential for FinTech remains huge.”

Singapore’s digital curiosity is evident in its CBDC-tested interoperability tests for cross-border payments with Australia, Malaysia and South Africa – an effort which Heng says “validates different design approaches through prototyping” and the resulting recommendations “the G20 roadmap to improve cross- Margin payments.” ® Singapore warns of ‘brutal, unyieldingly tough’ crypto regulations • The Register

Chrissy Callahan

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