No Crypto ATM’s in Singapore Until MAS Clarifies on New Guidelines
Two cryptocurrency ATM operators have acted quickly to the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) new guidelines issued on Monday. Under the new guidelines, the central bank of Singapore said that crypto trading should not be promoted to the public.
Daenerys & Co. and Deodi Pte crypto ATM operators in the city-state have shut down quoting the MAS guidelines as an “unexpected surprise.”
“To comply with the sudden announcement, we have ceased to offer buy or sell services via our ATMs while seeking further clarification from the MAS,” a representative from Daenerys told FXEmpire.
Another operator, Deodi Pte has halted services from its public Bitcoin machine on Tuesday, pursuant to MAS notice.
Alongside digital currencies’ increasing prominence in Singapore, the untraceable nature making it an attractive medium for illegal activities has made the regulator reiterate the risks it poses.
However, MAS did not impose any penalties from ATM operators for non-compliance.
MAS has restricted crypto businesses from providing physical crypto ATM services in the country. According to the watchdog, convenient access to Bitcoin ATMs might encourage “impulse-driven” trading activities, without considering the risks involved.
Daenerys has an “ongoing application” with MAS as a payment service provider and is waiting for the regulator to approve licensing, the company stated.
No Crypto Ban – Just Made It Less Accessible
Singapore’s financial regulator has clearly told crypto companies to refrain from advertising or promoting their digital currency services but has not banned its usage.
Users can still go and buy cryptos – but it will be more deliberate and less on impulse.
Having said that, with tougher rules spread out by the government, crypto entrepreneurs lured by the country’s crypto-embraced culture, find it difficult to get approval to legally operate in the city-state.
The cautious approach on every aspect is due to the fear of cryptocurrencies being abused for money laundering, terrorism financing, due to the speed and cross-border nature of the transactions.
“Digital payment token service providers in Singapore have to comply with requirements to mitigate such risks, including the need to carry out proper customer due diligence, conduct regular account reviews, and monitor and report suspicious transactions,” a MAS spokesperson told Nikkei.
Such steps by the government show how Singapore’s stance on digital assets has resulted in cryptos being less accessible to the public and the country being one of the most advanced and mature nations when it comes to crypto inclusion.
How Does It Work in Preventing Frauds
Singapore is one of the few countries that openly support cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects. According to a recent poll by fintech comparison website Finder.com, nearly 16 percent of Singaporean adults currently own cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin is the most popular coin owned by citizens, followed by Ethereum and Cardano.
However, some crypto ATM kiosks allow certain transactions to take place without acquiring any customer information other than their phone numbers. Some even use prepaid cellphones, that are disposed of after a transaction.
Shutting down crypto ATMs means that it is important for operators to set know-your-customers (KYC) standards to protect them from fraudulent activities and transactions. This is however been more challenging to implement in the cryptocurrency space where anonymity thrives.