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Singapore’s Central Bank Shutters Bitcoin ATMs Amid Crypto Crackdown

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Singapore's Central Bank Shutters Bitcoin ATMs Amid Crypto Crackdown

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is Singapore’s central bank and integrated financial regulator and it has just taken steps to curb crypto trading by the general public releasing new guidelines for the industry that require immediate adoption. MAS has also taken the step of directing the business sector to abstain from both advertising or showcasing any products relating to cryptocurrencies to Singapore’s citizens citing the high risk environment surrounding crypto as the motivation behind the recent moves.

 

By Andrew Senior
January 20th, 2022

 

 

The guidelines went into effect immediately and target Digital Payment Token (DPTs), commonly known as cryptocurrencies, service providers stating that they,

 

 

 

“Should not portray the trading of DPTs cryptocurrencies in a manner that trivializes the high risks of trading in DPTs, and should not promote their DPT services in public areas in Singapore or through any other media directed at the general public in Singapore.”

 

 

 

MAS took an extremely hardened stance saying that the trading of DPTs is highly risky and not suitable for the general public and that the advertising and glamorization of cryptocurrencies through traditional media such as newspapers,  televisions, and magazines must also be completely eliminated saying,

 

 

 

“Digital payment token service providers in Singapore have to comply with requirements to mitigate such risks, including the need to carry out proper customer due diligence, conduct regular account reviews, and monitor and report suspicious transactions.”

 

 

 

To achieve their goal, MAS declared that it would be outlawing crypto-to-cash terminals and closing all crypto ATMs in Singapore starting immediately. Daenerys & Co, one of the biggest crypto ATM operators in Singapore has followed the guidelines shutting down their machines. Deodi, a rival ATM operator, also complied with the Central Bank’s order and closed down their sole ATM. MAS said it has observed some DPT service providers actively promoting their services via online and physical advertisements along with providing ATMs in public areas encouraging consumers to trade cryptocurrencies on impulse without fully understanding the risks.

 

 

 

These recent regulatory measures enacted by MAS fly in direct opposition to the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies in Singapore as new investors have been piling into the space at a rapid pace. 

 

 

 

MAS did release a statement saying,

 

 

 

“MAS strongly encourages the development of blockchain technology and innovative application of crypto tokens in value-adding use cases.”

 

 

 

Yet Singapore’s crypto market is still reeling due to the recent regulatory moves. Prior to the new outlook on the industry, Coincub, ranked Singapore as the world’s most friendly cryptocurrency economy. Singapore had adopted a friendly and pro-crypto stance until recently. The new regulations being enacted in the country cast a shadow over the future of crypto in Singapore. 

 

 

 

Singapore isn’t the only country taking steps to limit cryptos footprint. Spain recently took a hardline on cryptocurrency promotions, and in December 2021, Britain took steps to outlaw advertisements from seven crypto firms saying they were,

 

 

 

“Irresponsibly taking advantage of consumers’ inexperience and for failing to illustrate the risk of the investment.”

 

 

 

Singapore’s regulatory 180 comes after Bitcoin’s price fell by over 40% after reaching new highs in November 2021. 

 

 

 

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