Singapore Has No Plans to Ban Bitcoin, Says MAS Managing Director
Ravi Menon – the head of the Monetary Authority of Singapore – sees a lot of potential in the cryptocurrency industry. As such, he vowed that the local regulator will not ban the asset class but rather implement an appropriate regulatory framework on it.
The executive also raised hopes that Singapore can become one of the global leaders in the cryptocurrency space.
Banning Crypto Is Not on The Agenda
In a recent interview for Bloomberg, Ravi Menon – Managing Director of the MAS – revealed his stance on the cryptocurrency industry and its possible future implementation in the city-state’s financial network.
He predicted that there are three possible scenarios in front of the digital asset space: “it could go nowhere, it could cause a lot of turmoil, or it could lead to a very good outcome for the economy and society.” Singapore must be ready for every outcome, and as such, the authorities should observe the technology and understand blockchain networks and smart contracts.
Unlike China, the MAS does not contemplate a crackdown on the industry as it can be a key player in the digitized future. Instead, the watchdog should enforce “strong regulation” so companies and individuals can be protected when operating with the asset class:
“We think the best approach is not to clamp down or ban these things… There are serious risks: money-laundering, terrorist financing are the obvious ones.”
Despite arguing that digital assets have their benefits over fiat currencies “in some regards,” Menon rejected the possibility of bitcoin becoming legal tender in Singapore, claiming that it does not have the status of “real money.” He advised only experienced investors to deal with BTC due to its enhanced volatility:
“If you want to treat it as an investment asset, you’d better know what you are doing, it is not for the fainthearted because of the volatility.”
Singapore Is Aiming High
Keeping in mind the spreading digitalization in the years to follow, Singapore needs to stay “well-positioned” and even become a global hub for cryptocurrency-related businesses, Menon opined.
This could sound like good news for locals, who seem well into digital assets. A research revealed that 43% of the residents of Singapore own some form of crypto, while 46% asserted they would enter the market in the next year.
Mass awareness is also at high levels since 93% of the participants said they have heard of bitcoin. 25% even described it as “digital gold” and a “store of value.”
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