Singapore Fintech Regulatory Developments - August 2017
MAS releases clarification on token offerings
Virtual currencies are considered a particular type of token as it is a medium of exchange and has stored value. Digital tokens may also represent ownership or a security over an issuer’s asset or property—this is where digital tokens behave like securities and will be regulated by MAS. A digital token is a “cryptographically-secured representation of a token-holder's rights to receive a benefit or to perform specified functions.” Recently there had been an increase in the number of initial coin (or token) offerings (ICOs) in Singapore as a means of raising funds. According to MAS, issuers or intermediaries of such tokens would be subject to licensing requirements under the SFA and Financial Advisers Act (Cap. 110), and the applicable requirements on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism will apply. In addition, platforms facilitating secondary trading of such tokens would also have to be approved or recognised by MAS.
MAS setting up Payments Council
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will establish a Payments Council to advise on the rollout of unified point-of-sale terminal at merchants, introduce new legislation to safeguard consumer interests and to guide on the rollout of new and innovative payment solutions. The Council will also be looking into creating a unified system for point-of-sale systems. Members of public and interested parties are invited to comment on the scope of the Payments Council on the questionnaire provided on the MAS website.
Fintech awards given extended submission date
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has extended the submission deadline for the Fintech Awards of 2017. The new deadline is 14 August 2017. The Fintech Awards recognises innovative fintech solutions that have been implemented by companies, financial institutions, and technology companies in four categories: Founder SME; Singapore SME; Singapore Open; and Global. Prizes range between US$36,500 and US$182,500.
Thailand and Singapore fintech MOU
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) signed a Fintech Cooperation Agreement. The cooperation agreement is aimed to develop a richer financial ecosystem in Thailand and Singapore as well as in ASEAN. Regulators will share knowledge on emerging market trends and regulations, as well as refer fintech companies to their counterparts. There may be potential projects arising from MOU and cross-border cooperation.
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