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Singapore Temporarily Relieves Regulatory Pressure on Crypto Firms

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting business operations worldwide, the Singapore regulator issued guidance and conditional registration relief for certain cryptocurrency exchanges.

Through an exhaustive list, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has allowed 415 applicants to conduct their payment or crypto-related operations without holding a license until July 28, 2020. Among those granted an exemption from registration requirements under the Singapore Payment Services Act, the regulatory filing states, Alipay, Bitgo, Paxos, Paypal, Binance, Coinbase, and Ripple.

“Please note that these entities are not licensed under the PS Act to provide the specific payment services, but are allowed to continue to provide the specific payment services, the MAS said.

The watchdog also said that entities that have been providing payment services before the PS Act but didn’t notify MAS about their activities or applied for a license will not benefit from its recent exemption.

Singapore mimics Europe in bringing crypto under AML

The MAS order comes as Singapore is updating its regulatory framework for crypto-related activities, including digital payments. The law cited in its statement, Payment Services Act (PSA), covers all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore, bringing CoinPip and its peers under anti-money laundering and counterterrorist-financing rules.

As such, crypto businesses in Singapore are required to first register and then apply for a license to operate in the jurisdiction. The law imposes registration and customer due-to-diligence requirements that force operators to disclose their traders’ identities and report suspicious activity.

With the country thrashing its crypto regulation into shape, some crypto providers had no choice but to cease operations while the consequences upon related partners will likely be wide-reaching.

Singapore’s PSA law is similar to Europe’s Fifth European Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5), which went into effect earlier in January. The legislation is notable because it represents the EU’s first attempt to regulate cryptocurrency activities at EU-level expressly.


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