The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has revealed that no cryptocurrency payment providers have met the qualifications to participate in its FinTech Regulatory Sandbox framework.
In response to criticism expressed in a letter published in the Financial Times regarding the Singaporean government’s perceived lack of public consultation and oversight concerning cryptocurrency adoption, MAS clarified that it does not maintain a specific “crypto sandbox,” but rather a broader sandbox supporting various fintech experiments.
The letter had condemned Singapore’s decision to permit crypto companies access to its Fast and Secure Transfers (FAST) interbank payment system, describing it as “unwise.”
However, MAS pointed out that the FAST system is accessible to all businesses with valid bank accounts, including those in the crypto sector, and stressed that payments within FAST are conducted in fiat currencies, not cryptocurrencies.
Addressing the issue of rising malware scams in Singapore, MAS dissociated them from cryptocurrencies, asserting that such scams are more prevalent in the fiat economy, involving fraudsters seizing control of customers’ mobile devices and executing unauthorized transfers in fiat currencies through the banking system.
As part of its anti-money laundering efforts, Singapore grants operational licenses to crypto businesses with robust Anti-Money Laundering (AML) controls.
MAS anticipates the gradual implementation of these measures throughout the year, making Singapore one of the world’s most tightly regulated jurisdictions governing retail access to cryptocurrencies.
Recently, MAS sought public input on a range of regulatory measures designed to mitigate risks associated with cryptocurrencies for retail customers.
It’s worth noting that Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a former MAS Chair who has historically viewed cryptocurrencies as high-risk investments, emerged victorious in Singapore’s presidential race.
As MAS Chair, he had previously cautioned Singapore-based users about the high volatility and riskiness of crypto assets in 2021.