Last Updated on November 7, 2022 by Bitfinsider
Brian Armstrong, co-founder and chief executive officer of the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase, stated that Singapore aspires to be a forward-thinking regulator, but is hostile to cryptocurrency trading.
The city-state has frequently warned that cryptocurrencies are highly speculative and volatile after several regular investors lost huge portions of their cash. It has also prohibited crypto advertising in public spaces and on social media platforms.
Armstrong stated at the Singapore FinTech Festival 2022, “Singapore wants to be a Web3 hub, but we won’t allow retail trade or self-hosted wallets.” He was speaking alongside Sopnendu Mohanty, the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s chief fintech officer.
Following 180 applications and a stringent screening procedure, Singapore has only granted 17 in-principle permits and licenses to date. Binance apparently abandoned its bid to operate in the city-state early this year, following months of regulatory uncertainty.
In response, Mohanty of the Singapore Monetary Authority stated that retail investors nowadays are “exposed to dangers they do not realise they are accepting.”
“We believe Web 3.0 is the future, and our goal is to ensure that the money that may be transacted on this environment is regarded as a safe asset and currency. Mohanty continued, “As long as this is the course, we are fine.”
Armstrong was then challenged by Mohanty to list regulations he believed should be reconsidered.
“I believe that centralized exchanges and custodians [such as Coinbase] should be treated similarly to other financial service providers. Anti-money-laundering safeguards are necessary. Armstrong stated that audits should be required, monies should not be commingled, and customers should receive adequate disclosures.
“Cryptocurrencies should be treated equally with other financial service legislation; they should not be given preferential treatment.”
Armstrong continued, “I would like to see Singapore embrace retail trade and self-hosted wallets because I believe these two concepts are irreconcilable.”
It comes after Coinbase got MAS’s approval in principle to provide digital payment token services in Singapore.
In response, Mohanty used the example of a consumer utilizing a mobile banking application.
During his opening remarks at the Singapore FinTech Festival 2022, MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon stated, “If a crypto hub is about experimenting with programmable money, applying digital assets for use cases, or tokenizing financial assets to increase efficiency and reduce risk in financial transactions, then yes, we want to be a crypto hub. But if it involves trading and speculation in cryptocurrencies, that is not the type of cryptocurrency hub we wish to be.”
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