Touted as a crypto-friendly country, Singapore has been the destination for many crypto companies in the space with its robust market and clear, lenient financial regulations. In January, Singapore enacted a new Payment Services Act (PSA) which requires any company providing a financial service, including crypto firms registered in Singapore, to apply for an exemption under the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) before 28 January 2020.
MAS recently made an announcement to exempt several companies under the PSA until 28 July 2020. Companies highlighted in a long list on the MAS official website will be allowed to operate without a license during this period, including well-known crypto and payment firms such as Coinbase, Ripple, Upbit and Paypal. As companies in the crypto sphere scrambled to get their documentation and applications in order, this exemption comes as a relief.
The new PSA was introduced due to security and risk concerns that payment providers may pose, including AML/CFT, interoperability, technological risks and the possibility of loss of funds due to insolvency.
While the laws governing crypto-related activities in Singapore are not as stringent as several other Asian countries such as China or Thailand, the new PSA is evidence that the island country is supervising crypto firms and their operations more carefully. In more recent news, Canada has also amended its laws on crypto this month to follow the guidelines as set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATC) more closely, tightening its measures on AML and CFT compliance.
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