Singapore’s Central Bank Amends Regulations To Include Bitcoin And Ethereum

Wilfred Michael 

Wilfred Michael

News reporter

21 November 2018,
Singapore’s Central Bank Amends Regulations To Include Bitcoin And Ethereum

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is working to expand the existing law guiding digital payment providers while directly bringing major cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum under its watch.

StraitTimes report that the new regulations are contained in a newly proposed Payment Services Bill (PSB) submitted by the country’s Education Minister, Ong Ye Kung.

The PSB is vying to replace two existing frameworks that were formerly used to guide digital payment service providers. The soon to be replaced bills are the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act (PS(O)A) and the Money-Changing and Remittance Businesses Act (MCRBA).

Given that new payment channels Bitcoin, Ethereum and GrabPay were not around when the old laws were made; a change was always expected at some point.

PBS Means Improved Oversight For Digital Payments Services In Singapore

On a broad scale, the newly proposed bill is supposed to offer more security to Singaporeans who use digital payment services. However, it is also expected to provide the MAS with the more than same oversight that it had with the soon to be replaced bills.

As per the report, the new PBS bill has the potential to achieve that and is divided into “two parallel regulatory frameworks.”

The first is described as “a designation regime” which will allow the MSA to pick payment systems that they deem as crucial to come under their supervision. The second will require that digital payment service providers apply for licenses that will only be issued by the MSA. The bill prescribes different classes of license to serve digital payment firms.

By the end of 2019, the MSA hopes that the bill would have come into force. Then, firms that deal with digital tokens will be required to comply with the bill within six months. Other firms would have twelve months to meet regulatory compliance.