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Saturday, December 3, 2022

It is necessary to prohibit retail investors from “borrowing money and swiping cards to buy coins”! Singapore tightens cryptocurrency regulations

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In order to reduce the risk of harm to retail investors caused by cryptocurrency transactions, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) intends to tighten regulations, proposing to prohibit retail investors from borrowing money, swiping cards to buy cryptocurrencies, and prohibiting businesses from using the cryptocurrencies deposited by retail investors. Lending or staking to generate income.

To this end, the Monetary Authority of Singapore issued a consultation paper today (26) on regulatory measures for cryptocurrency services for public comment, with a deadline of December 21, after which it will begin to formulate final guidelines.

According to the document, a series of measures proposed by the MAS include: prohibiting retail investors from trading cryptocurrencies through credit, cryptocurrency service providers (exchanges) must implement customer knowledge assessments, and prohibiting the use of customers’ cryptocurrencies for lending or pledge.

The MAS stated that given the volatility of cryptocurrency prices, leveraged operations could expose consumers to substantial losses, and therefore proposed these restrictions on cryptocurrency service providers:

  • Credit facilities should not be provided to retail investors to enable these customers to purchase cryptocurrencies;
  • Leveraged cryptocurrency trading should not be conducted with retail investors;
  • Should not accept payment by credit or debit card from retail investors;
  • Incentives such as free tokens (airdrops) or gifts should not be offered to retail investors;
  • Celebrity endorsements are not allowed.

It is worth noting that the above restrictions do not apply to high net worth investors. According to the definition of Singapore’s Securities and Futures Act, a high net worth investor’s net personal assets should exceed S$2 million (of which the net worth of an individual’s primary residence is capped at S$1 million), or the net financial assets exceed S$2 million. S$1 million, or income of more than S$300,000 in the past 12 months.

Currently, the MAS is considering excluding the value of cryptocurrency holdings from an individual’s net asset value, or setting a cap on the value of cryptocurrency holdings that can count towards the threshold, such as SGD 200,000. The MAS said the move was designed to differentiate between those “retail investors who make most of their money from cryptocurrency speculation” and those who “have a diversified portfolio.”

Cryptocurrency exchanges must also manage clients separately from their own assets, introduce risk management mechanisms for all client assets, and disclose listing policies, procedures, and conflicts of interest.

At the same time, the Monetary Authority of Singapore also issued another consultation paper on stablecoins , requiring that stablecoins linked to a single currency with a value of more than SGD5 million in circulation must hold an equivalent value of cash, Reserve assets of cash equivalents or short-term sovereign debt securities.

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