With the entry into force of the Singapore Payment Services Act, cryptocurrency exchange platforms can now apply for operating licenses in the country.
In September 2019, the Singapore parliament passed the Bill of Payment Services, Bill, creating the Bill of Payment Services with the new law that will take effect on Tuesday (January 28, 2019).
As part of the bill, cryptocurrency exchange platforms in Singapore can now apply for operating licenses from the MORE. The new laws also grant the regulatory agency, supervisory powers and companies in the cryptocurrency space of the country.
The new payment laws contain two regulatory frameworks: designation of payment systems and licensing requirements. Together, both parallel aspects of the new laws should help the MAS to monitor cryptocurrencies and other payment systems under a unified regulatory paradigm.
"The new law provides regulatory certainty to industry players but, more importantly, it gives consumers a clear idea of the players they can trust."
According Bloomberg, Luno and Liquid Inc. plan to apply for operating licenses under the new regulatory framework. Singapore joins Malaysia to become the last country in Southeast Asia to create a legal basis for cryptocurrency exchange platforms.
The move towards the legalization of aspects of the cryptocurrency business occurs as digital currencies remain popular in Southeast Asia. In early January, Malaysian regulators banned Initial cryptocurrency (ICO) currency bids while issuing regulations for initial exchange bids (IEO).
Quality regulation to avoid money laundering
As reported above, the Payment Services Law also includes protocols for the forensic monitoring of cryptocurrencies. For the MAS, money laundering through encryption channels remains a concern for regulators.
In a press release from Loo Siew Yee, Deputy Managing Director of MAS, regulators in Singapore also intend to use the new law as a basis for improving consumer protection protocols in the digital payment space.
According to Yee, the new regulatory framework is "activity-based" and "risk-focused." The Assistant Managing Director of MAS stated that regulators will apply the rules in a fair and balanced manner.