[Repost] Singapore: Code of Practice Offers Practical Guidance for Crypto License Applications

Cryptocurrency firms in Singapore can now draw upon detailed guidance for their license applications to offer regulated services in the city-state.

On Aug. 13, the Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Startups, Singapore (ACCESS), rolled out its new Code of Practice to help these firms in their applications for a payments service license. 

The license has been mandatory for any entity looking to provide specified payment services — including digital payments and the trading of digital tokens — since Singapore’s Payment Services Act came into force in January of this year.

ACCESS had the support of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) — the country’s central bank and regulatory authority — in preparing the new code of practice. It also consulted the Association of Banks in Singapore to help cement its approach and establish clear practical regulatory guidance for successful license applications.

In particular, ACCESS hopes to provide crypto industry players with a standardized and detailed guide to Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism best practices.

The code has taken two years to develop, and caters to the provisions and licensing guidelines of the Payment Services Act, as well as the Financial Action Task Force’s travel rule. The latter is a global framework that requires cryptocurrency firms to step up their regulatory compliance in line with expectations for traditional financial institutions. 

MAS’ chief fintech officer, Sopnendu Mohanty, said that the central bank is “pleased that ACCESS has successfully launched the Code of Practice following close industry collaboration and public consultation.” 

He said, “Blockchain and other digital technologies have the potential to transform the payments services landscape [...] The challenge for MAS and other financial regulators is to ensure that the risks these new technologies pose are well-managed, while allowing innovation to continue to flourish.”

The new code falls within the scope of ACCESS’ “Standardization of Practice in Crypto Entities” initiative. 

Analysts have broadly responded positively to Singaporean regulators’ efforts to bring cryptocurrency firms within the scope of Anti Money-Laundering regulation. They argue that the immediate transition period, during which firms will have to adapt to the new rules, will pay off in the long run and provide firms with an enhanced reputation and opportunities for future growth.

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