The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) could gain expanded regulatory powers over crypto financial products if a new bill is passed in the country’s parliament. The Financial Institutions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2024 proposes several changes that could significantly affect crypto firms operating in Singapore.
One of the key aspects of the bill is to expand MAS’s authority to issue directives to capital markets services licence holders (CMSL holders) engaged in unregulated business. This includes companies offering products like Bitcoin futures and other payment token derivatives traded on overseas exchanges, which, though unregulated, could still pose risks to regulated activities.
The MAS has already provided guidelines on risk mitigation for unregulated business with retail investors. With the new bill, it seeks the power to enforce minimum standards and safeguards for CMSL holders and their representatives when they conduct unregulated businesses.
The bill also has broader implications for the financial sector. It proposes granting the MAS powers to compel individuals to provide information through interviews or written statements, enter premises without a warrant, and obtain court orders for seizing evidence. Moreover, the MAS would be authorized to approve agents appointed by foreign regulators to inspect financial institutions in Singapore.
These changes follow a series of regulatory moves by the MAS, including measures to discourage cryptocurrency speculation and revisions to the regulatory framework for stablecoins. In recent months, companies like Circle and Ripple have received Major Payment Institution (MPI) licenses, with Paxos approved to issue a U.S. dollar stablecoin. Additionally, the MAS is exploring tokenization possibilities under Project Guardian.