103 Singapore digital payment companies “fail” over money laundering and terrorist financing concerns
Since Singapore began regulating the crypto sector, around 170 companies have applied for licenses to provide “digital payment token services,” which include crypto-related services. However, 103 of them have been rejected or withdrawn, financial publication The Nikkei Messages on Monday (December 20th).
Sanjay Jain, CEO of Dubai-based exchange Bitxmi, said that its Singapore branch has not received a license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Bitxmi appears on the official list of companies that, according to the MAS, “are no longer exempt from payment service regulations”. Posted on Wednesday, perform includes local subsidiaries of major industry players including BitGo Singapore, Revolut Technology Singapore, South Korean blockchain company Klaytn and others.
Another list that includes companies exempt from licenses under the Payment Services Act includes Bitstamp Limited, Coinbase Singapore, Gemini Trust, and others.
MAS intends to support the adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, but also recognizes the potential risks. “Because of the speed and cross-border nature of transactions, cryptocurrencies can be misused for money laundering and terrorist financing,” said a MAS representative, adding:
“Digital payment token service providers in Singapore must meet risk minimization requirements, including proper customer due diligence, performing regular account reviews, monitoring and reporting. Report suspicious transactions.”
The news comes as several major exchanges flee Singapore. Binance.sg, a branch of the Binance exchange, stopped registering new users on December 13th and announced that it would withdraw completely by mid-February 2022. Previously, the Huobi exchange had also announced that it would close all users’ accounts in Singapore until the end of March 2022 and re-enter the Singapore market through a different local entity.
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