Digital currencies have a place in the future of Singapore’s financial industry, but only if they are well regulated, the country’s central bank said. The regulator also recognized the role that regulated stablecoins could play, including facilitating cross-border money transfers.
Regulation has become the biggest priority area for the digital currency industry, and watch dogs around the world are rushing to implement guidelines to guide the industry. Recently, three leading US regulators outlined their strategies for digital currencies; Australia has proposed new laws governing exchanges, DeFi and DAOs; Ukraine legalized digital assets; while the head of the Bank of England has described regulation of the industry as urgent.
Singapore is open to digital currencies, said the head of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). MAS chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam pointed out in his speech at the Asia Financial Markets Forum that digital assets need to evolve beyond speculation if they are to play a role in the economy.
“It could be that crypto will play a role in future finance that goes beyond pure speculation and illegal funding,” Tharman said.
Tharman is one of the most influential figures in Singapore, has been a Member of Parliament since 2001 and Coordinating Minister for Social Policy since 2015. He has also been chairman of the MAS since 2011.
Tharman added that the Singapore government is open to digital currencies as it wants innovations to develop in the country.
He also looked at stablecoins, a global regulatory focus. He acknowledged that they could play a vital role in the economy, but they needed to be regulated.
Speaking to Bloomberg on the sidelines of the event, he said, “I think the future will be one in which regulated stablecoins will play a useful role. A traditional payment system that is innovative and interoperable across borders for cheap, fast and instant payments will be an important part of this space and potentially play a role for other independent innovators in the system. “
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