Singapore’s central banking authority and financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), will investigate banking service denial for crypto startups. The island-city state’s defacto central bank hopes to mediate and reach a mutually satisfying outcome between banks and cryptocurrency startups.
Finding Common Ground?
Recent reports suggest that some banks in Singapore have been reluctant to service crypto enterprises, so the financial regulator is stepping in to find common ground to help grease the wheels and see the nascent space grow.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Managing Director of the MAS, Ravi Menon, said:
“What we are trying to do is to bring the banks and cryptocurrency fintech startups together to see if there is some understanding they can reach. The nature of this business is a bit different, so banks may need to employ other ways in which they can establish bona fides. I hope we can bring minds together on this so that we can get over this hurdle.”
Two weeks ago, some banks in Singapore decided to suddenly stop doing business with crypto startups without offering an explanation. As a result, Singapore’s blockchain and crypto industry association ACCESS called for the government to step in to help smooth banking hurdles that crypto startups were facing. At the time, the regulator’s help was unexpected, as banks have complete autonomy in choosing their clients.
Fostering Crypto Development Without Loosening Regulations
But the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s involvement in the matter can be fruitful for the entire local crypto space. Menon suggested that banks’ cautionary approach was understandable, but both parties needed to come to some agreement to see the crypto industry develop.
At the same time, Menon pointed out that fostering crypto development should not lead to a regulatory loophole. Instead, Menon suggests the development of an equitable regulatory environment that does not inhibit the growth of the crypto sector, but at the same time safeguards investors.
Since last year, countries globally have been trying to attract crypto ventures by relaxing regulations.
Up until now, Singapore has proven to be a welcoming jurisdiction for crypto startups. The island nation’s regulatory stance is somewhere between Japan and China’s. Singapore aims to position itself as an important venue in the crypto sector. The Monetary Authority of Singapore hopes to see the continued development of the sector.
But Singapore is seeing strong competition from Malta and Switzerland, who are showing more positive approaches towards the sector, making them the most crypto friendly jurisdictions in the world. Recently, the Swiss-based crypto investment fund Crypto Fund AG was granted an asset management license allowing it the same freedoms as traditional asset managers.
Will the involvement of the Monetary Authority of Singapore resolve the issue between banks and crypto entities? Share your views in the comments section below.
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