Singapore’s financial regulator and central bank have vowed to be “violent and relentlessly tough” on any “bad behavior” from the cryptocurrency industry.

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The comments come from Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Chief Financial Officer Sopnendu Mohanty. interview that “if someone has done something bad, we are cruel and ruthlessly cruel.”

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He also responded to the rhetoric of some cryptocurrency market participants who criticized the regulator for not being cryptocurrency friendly enough, and instead questioned the legitimacy of the market, stating:

“Many cryptocurrencies reproached us for not being friends, my answer was: “Friendliness for what?” Friendly to the real economy, or friendly to some fake economy?

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The fintech chief believes the world has “lost its private currency” and is the cause of wider market turmoil. Mohanty added that the city-state has introduced an “extremely draconian” and “painfully slow” due diligence procedure for licensing crypto businesses in response to the regulator’s conservative stance on crypto.

Singapore introduced licensing for crypto firms in January 2020 and strictly regulated which companies get a license. In December 2022, Cryptooshala reported that the MAS had canceled the approval of more than 100 licenses from companies that had applied.

In January, cryptocurrency providers were banned from advertising their services in public places such as public transport, which were distributed on public websites, as well as in print, broadcast and social media.

MAS is also expanding its ability to oversee crypto businesses: in April, the regulator passed new requirements for firms to be licensed and subject to anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing requirements if they want to provide services outside the country.

Singapore explores digital asset tokenization on public networks

Many crypto businesses have been established in Singapore both because of its low taxes and the perception that the city-state was one of the most crypto-friendly, but increased regulation suggests this is changing as the country focuses on its digital currency of the Central Bank (CBDC). ).

June 21, payment system provider Mojaloop Foundation opened CBDC Center of Excellence (COE) in Singapore, which sees MAS in its working group and Mohanty as advisor to the board of directors.

With the opening of COE, Mohanty believes a government-backed alternative cryptocurrency could be launched within three years.

COE aims to reduce the costs and inefficiencies of payment platforms and cross-border payments, Mohanty said, hailing the move as “a step forward into the future of financial services.”