Singapore’s central bank – the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), is contemplating placing additional regulations on retail cryptocurrency investors. According to Ravi Menon, Managing Director at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the main issue with cryptocurrencies is that their prices are extremely volatile, driven more by speculation than by any underlying economic fundamentals. He made this statement during his opening remarks at the Green Shoots Seminar.
Menon further added that investing in such cryptocurrencies is extremely dangerous since their perceived value may precipitate if public opinion changes. However, a total prohibition on retail access to cryptocurrencies is unlikely to be effective.
“The world of cryptocurrencies has no boundaries. Singaporeans can purchase or sell any number of cryptocurrencies with just a mobile phone and access to any number of cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide.”
According to Menon, the excessive price volatility of cryptocurrencies disqualifies them as a workable medium of exchange or investment asset. He claimed that protecting consumers from harm calls requires a multi-pronged approach and not just regulation by the Singapore central bank.
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He stated, “First, to reduce regulatory arbitrage, international collaboration is essential. Transactions involving cryptocurrencies can be made from any location in the world. In order to improve market integrity and client protection in the digital asset arena, MAS actively participates in international regulatory evaluations.”
At the same time, the Singaporean central bank has been discussing its concerns with the sector and soliciting opinions on potential measures to reduce harm to consumers. It will hold a public consultation on the suggestions by October this year.
Menon also believes that consumers must be accountable, use good judgment, and be cautious because no amount of industry safeguards, global cooperation, or central bank regulation would shield consumers from losses if their bitcoin holdings lose value.