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Singapore's Finance Regulator Mulls 'Limits on Retail Participation' in Crypto

Amid a string of recent bearish events in the crypto space, Singapore's financial watchdog is considering new safeguards to protect consumers.

2 min read
The Monetary Authority of Singapore is the city-state's financial regulator and central bank. Image: Shutterstock.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) won't rule out amendments to existing legislation and introduce new rules that would add more restrictions on retail crypto-traders

In a written response to a question raised by one of the city-state's MPs, MAS chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam said that Singapore's central bank "has been carefully considering the introduction of additional consumer protection safeguards."

"These may include placing limits on retail participation, and rules on the use of leverage when transacting in cryptocurrencies," wrote Shanmugaratnam.

According to the chairman, the borderless nature of cryptocurrency markets also implies "a need for regulatory coordination and cooperation globally."

"These issues are being discussed at various international standard-setting bodies where MAS actively participates," Shanmugaratnam added.

Singapore crypto firm's woes

The latest comments made by the MAS chairman came hot on the heels of the regulator's move to reprimand Three Arrows Capital (3AC), a Singapore-based crypto fund, for allegedly "providing false information and exceeding assets under management threshold."

3AC is also facing liquidation amid reports the firm failed to meet margin calls from its lenders.

Joining the growing list of crypto companies that ran into troubles in recent weeks, Singapore-based crypto lender Vauld on Monday said it halted its operations and froze withdrawals of customer funds.

The company claimed that since June 12, it had faced withdrawals totaling $197.7 million. Vauld cited the implosion of the Terra ecosystem, Celsius Network's financial woes, and 3AC defaulting on its loans as reasons for the mass withdrawals.

Commenting on the latest developments, Shanmugaratnam said, "since 2017, the MAS has consistently warned that cryptocurrencies are not suitable investments for the retail public."

He went on to say that "most cryptocurrencies are subject to sharp speculative price swings" and that "recent events have vividly demonstrated the risks, with prices of several cryptocurrencies falling drastically."

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