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MAS Fintech Chief: Singapore Will Be ‘Brutal and Unrelentingly Hard’ for Bad Actors in Crypto

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Singapore is often considered one of the most open economies in the world, but its relationship with the crypto industry has been inconsistent in recent times. The head of fintech policy believes the city-state will be “brutal and ruthless” to any bad behavior.

Fighting Bad Behavior in Cryptocurrency

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During a conversation with Financial TimesSopnendu Mohanty, Chief Financial Technology Officer at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said the focus will be on combating bad behavior in the crypto industry and added that the central bank does not tolerate such market participants.

“If someone has done something bad, we are cruel and ruthlessly cruel.”

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Needless to say, the collapse of Terra, a harbinger of this month’s quick sell-off, forced regulators to toughen their stance on the industry. Mohanty believes that the world as a whole has “lost its private currency”, leading to ongoing market turmoil.

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He acknowledged that Singapore has introduced a “painfully slow” and “extremely draconian due diligence process” for licensing crypto-related businesses. The boss also said

“Many cryptocurrencies have reproached us for not being friendly. My answer was: friendly for what? Friendly to the real economy, or friendly to some fake economy?

This year, Singapore has witnessed the departure of several crypto companies to the Middle East. Many of these organizations have cited licensing delays and repeated warnings from authorities that they do not want retail investors to invest in cryptocurrencies due to excessive risk.


Crypto exchanges ByBit and Binance, as well as hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, have abandoned their plans to operate in the country and have moved to Dubai instead.

After the departure of key market players, Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Heng Swee Keat announced the launch of the Guardian project. The joint initiative aims to develop applications based on asset tokenization and decentralized finance (DeFi). Through Project Guardian, MAS will partner with leading banks, digital asset companies and digital infrastructure companies.

Three firms received a license to operate in the country

Despite the hardening of the stance, CryptoCom has received MAS approval in principle to provide payment services domestically.

The latest approval will allow the digital asset exchange to offer numerous settlement solutions under the Payment Services Act, including Digital Payment Token (DPT) services for Singaporean customers. Two other crypto firms – Genesis and Sparrow – have also received permission to provide similar services.

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