Singapore is cracking down on crypto ATMs to prevent buying 'highly risky' assets on impulse
Singaporeis clamping down on digital assets by restricting how these are promoted across the nation.
- Among the provisions is the banning of
cryptoATMs in public areas.
- "The trading of cryptocurrencies is highly risky and not suitable for the general public," the central bank said.
Singapore is clamping down on digital assets by restricting how they are promoted across the nation.
"This could encourage consumers to trade [digital public tokens] on impulse, without fully understanding the attendant risks,"
Promoting digital assets is also prohibited in public transport, public websites, social media platforms, broadcast and print media, as well as the engagement of third parties, such as social media influencers, MAS added.
Responding to the new rules, Daenerys & Co., Singapore's biggest operator of the machines, halted five of its ATMs in various malls, the company said late Tuesday, as Bloomberg reported.
Daenerys however told Bloomberg it is keeping the ATMs closed while seeking clarification from the central bank. It is among the more than 100 firms operating various crypto-related services in Singapore.
Singapore's central bank, however, clarified that it is not against new innovation.
"MAS strongly encourages the development of blockchain technology and innovative application of crypto tokens in value-adding use cases," Loo Siew Yee, the central bank's assistant managing director of policy, payments, and financial crime, said in a statement. "But the trading of cryptocurrencies is highly risky and not suitable for the general public."
As such, service providers, she said, should not portray the trading of crypto assets in a manner that "trivializes" their inherent high risks.
Singapore joins countries like the United Kingdom in tightening crypto advertising. The British government recently clamped down on what it called misleading promotions after London saw a record number of crypto-related campaigns in recent months.
In the US, the Government Accountability Office warned digital currencies could be be used illicitly to facilitate human and drug trafficking, particularly in crypto ATMs.
Worldwide, there are over 600 operators that run more than 35,000 crypto ATMs, according to data from Coin ATM Radar. In the US, over 260 operators run over 9,000 crypto ATMs.
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