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Singapore tightens AML restrictions on cryptocurrency companies

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Cryptocurrency businesses operating in Singapore will need to register and be licensed to continue serving customers in the country.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Tuesday that the Payment Services Act will now be enforced.

First passed in January last year, the act gives the regulator supervisory authority over all payment businesses in the country.

[Read: Singapore’s financial regulator wants its banks and blockchains to be friends]

Companies now have a month to register with MAS. Once they do so, businesses will have six months to apply for a payment institution license.

Services that MAS will now be regulating are domestic money transfers, merchant acquisition, and digital payment token services,”said Mr Ong Ye Kung, minister for education, in a speech last year.

“We will be among the first few financial services regulators in the world to introduce a regulatory framework for digital payment token services, or what is commonly understood as cryptocurrency dealing or exchange services,” they added.

Back in October 2018, the regulator revealed that it would help local cryptocurrency companies get traditional bank accounts.

Singapore is known for its expanding fintech ecosystem with blockchain technology playing a significant part in that.

Earlier this year, a report found that blockchain development was the fastest-growing skill in Singapore.

In November 2018, the Singapore government said it would provide seed funding for companies to develop a blockchain platform to connect all industry stakeholders.

Published January 28, 2020 — 09:30 UTC

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