When China imposed a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies, Singapore was among the countries to capitalize on the opportunity of refugee miners and crypto entrepreneurs. For much of 2021, Singapore’s policy revolved around fostering the crypto space and making the country more conducive for crypto innovations. It quickly became a hub for global crypto developments and adoption rates increased significantly. Just when it looked like an ideal destination for crypto entrepreneurs, the country’s policies started to take a sharp turn in the opposite direction.
The early signs of this development could be traced back to the issuance of DTP authorizations. Singapore decided to re-register all existing crypto firms as Digital Token Providers (DTP). However, they could register again only after meeting certain criteria. Even then, it was totally under the discretion of the Monetary Authority of Singapore to reject a firm’s application. These events saw Binance leave the country, though the crypto firm later cited strategic business reasons for withdrawing the application. After that, the MAS went after cryptocurrency advertisements. It imposed new regulations that made it illegal to advertise crypto products and services in public spaces and mediums. Firms were only allowed to endorse themselves in their mobile apps and official websites. While not inherently anti-crypto, this move makes the general tendency of the MAS clear.
The most recent movement in this direction is the ban of all crypto ATMs from the country. It came as a rather shocking step, but the MAS cited the same rule against cryptocurrency endorsement in public spaces.