Complytech: Singapore’s Stance in Cryptocurrency Mobile Payments Should Keep it a Hub

October 22, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

It would be easy to think that cryptocurrency is a market in decline, what with all the countries frantically trying to legislate it either out of existence outright or so strictly as to be unrecognizable in its current form. That’s not the case everywhere, though, and a new report sent our way from Complytech suggests that one place—Singapore–will likely be a hub for cryptocurrency in the near term.

Right now, the Complytech report, written by Kyrrex, notes that Singapore has been fairly lax when it comes to cryptocurrency oversight. However, the country already has very strong Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws that suggest there could be tightening of the regulations involved. 

Singapore has mainly limited itself to a simple registration system for exchanges and similar service providers, as well as adherence to international AML laws as well as counter-financing of terrorism (CFT) rules. This is a middle-of-the-road stance that allows the concept to actually exist while at the same time allowing the government to at least keep an eye on things. There’s little afoot to suggest the crypto market could end up under full control of existing authorities.

That may not be the case forever, as Complytech CEO Michel Farah noted, saying “…Singapore’s central bank has announced it is broadening its regulatory regime for payment providers to bring certain cryptocurrencies under its jurisdiction, with the new legislation due to come into force by the end of 2019. Cryptocurrency service providers are expected to be licensed under the new regulatory framework.”

For anyone who wants to be involved in cryptocurrency, this isn’t what you’d call great news. If this “new regulatory framework” turns out to be India or China-level, then the concept of crypto is pretty much dead in Singapore. Hopefully, however, cooler heads will prevail and the concept of crypto won’t be dead on arrival everywhere. 

The notion of a currency that can readily go across borders has great potential for international trade, and it sure beats many currently-available solutions. It’s also a great addition to mobile payments operations. While there are risks, and indeed a certain need for regulation, we must be careful not to regulate so hard that the concept is effectively unusable.