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MAS Introduces New AML Infrastructure for Crypto Businesses

Jordan Major

On January 28, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) introduced the Payment Services Act (PSA), in turn, updating the regulatory infrastructure for digital payments.

According to the regulator, the regulatory framework will enhance consumer protection and promote confidence. It took the country a year to enforce the new laws, although Singapore’s legislators passed them in January 2019.

This new update will apply to most of the digital payments businesses, which include digital payment token services. Thus, all crypto businesses and exchanges must also comply with the new regulations. The assistant managing director at MAS, Loo Siew Yee, commented:

“The Payment Services Act provides a forward-looking and flexible regulatory framework for the payments industry. The activity-based and risk-focused regulatory structure allows rules to be applied proportionately and to be robust to changing business models.”  

In that context, the regulator has told all digital payments businesses operating within the city-state to register within one month. They will also have six months to apply for a payment institution license. MAS states that the PS Act will facilitate growth and innovation while simultaneously minimizing risks by promoting confidence in the payments landscape.

A Haven For Payment Businesses

Singapore is among the favorable Asian jurisdictions for cryptocurrency and other digital payments businesses. The government is continuously enhancing the industry by introducing favorable regulations.

Since last November, the regulator has been striving to support derivatives trading of cryptos on approved exchanges within its jurisdiction.

On the other hand, the Fifth European Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) was enforced in Europe on January 10. But, its effects are adverse on cryptocurrency businesses making many exchanges leave the continent heading to much friendlier jurisdictions.

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