May 29, 2024
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Singapore’s New President Champions Unified Regulatory Approach for Crypto and Conventional Finance

Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who previously held prominent roles as Singapore’s deputy prime minister, finance minister, and education minister, has been chosen as the ninth president of Singapore. He also chaired the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, from 2011 to 2023.

Before his election as president, Shanmugaratnam discussed cryptocurrency and its regulatory framework on multiple occasions. He articulated his stance that there should be a single regulatory framework encompassing both cryptocurrency and traditional finance. He explained that if cryptocurrency or blockchain intends to engage in activities akin to those in traditional finance, they should be subject to identical regulations, including capital requirements, liquidity standards, and reserve backing. He emphasized that there should be no ambiguity, and any entities operating outside this regulatory system should exercise caution.

Shanmugaratnam, the former MAS chairman, had previously expressed the need to regulate specific segments of the cryptocurrency market, particularly stablecoins. He underscored that stringent regulation is necessary across all financial activities, irrespective of whether they are in the cryptocurrency or traditional financial sector, to combat money laundering. He firmly stated that regulations to prevent money laundering are imperative, regardless of the financial domain.

However, Shanmugaratnam maintained a cautious stance towards investing in cryptocurrencies. During a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in January, he joined other regulators and central bankers in questioning whether applying banking-style regulations to cryptocurrencies, for reasons of prudence and financial stability, might inadvertently legitimize a speculative and somewhat erratic asset class. He leaned towards advocating utmost clarity, making it abundantly clear that the cryptocurrency market is unregulated, and individuals who choose to participate do so at their own risk.

While highlighting the importance of educating consumers about cryptocurrencies, he reiterated his preference for an “ultra clarity” approach, emphasizing that individuals should be fully aware of the risks associated with cryptocurrency investment and cautioned against venturing into it recklessly.

Image by tawatchai07 on Freepik

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