cryptocurrency

Singapore — After the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) warned, on Monday (Jan 17), that trading cryptocurrency is risky and not suitable for the public, ATM operators quickly shut down their operations.

Daenerys & Co. and Deodi Pte, local crypto ATM operators, said they were caught by surprise by MAS’ guidelines, which have asked service providers not to promote their DPT services to the general public in Singapore.

DPT stands for Digital Payment Tokens, more commonly known as cryptocurrency.

A representative from Daenerys said, “To comply with the sudden announcement, we have ceased to offer buy or sell services via our ATMs while seeking further clarification from the MAS.”

Deodi Pte announced on its website on Jan 18, that it has closed its “public bitcoin machine with immediate effect.”

MAS wrote in a media release that it “has consistently warned that trading DPTs is highly risky and not suitable for the general public, as the prices of DPTs are subject to sharp speculative swings. 

MAS has observed that some DPT service providers have been actively promoting their services through online and physical advertisements or through the provision of physical automated teller machines (ATM) in public areas. 

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This could encourage consumers to trade DPTs on impulse, without fully understanding the attendant risks.”

The new guidelines from MAS said that DPT providers are expected not to market or advertise their services in public areas, public websites and social media platforms, other forms of media or via influencers but only through their own corporate websites, mobile applications or official social media accounts.

MAS Assistant Managing Director for Policy, Payments and Financial Crime, Ms Loo Siew Yee, said that the Authority “encourages the development of blockchain technology and innovative application of crypto tokens in value-adding use cases.”

But she warned against the trading of cryptocurrencies due to the high risk involved.

“DPT service providers should therefore not portray the trading of DPTs in a manner that trivialises the high risks of trading in DPTs, nor engage in marketing activities that target the general public,” Ms Foo added.

The United Kingdom has recently clamped down on cryptocurrency advertising as well.

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The UK government is planning on stronger legislation to protect consumers and to give the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), its financial watchdog, more power to better regulate the crypto market.

“The government is seeking only to amend activities where strictly relevant to cryptoasset businesses, in order to avoid unnecessary and disproportionate amendments to the regulatory perimeter”, according to this report. /TISG

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