Singapore’s Central Bank Publishes New Guidelines on ICOs
Singapore’s de facto central bank has released new guidelines on initial coin offerings, stating how token sales would be regarded under its securities laws.
According to a statement released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), tokens that are sold through the blockchain funding model may be deemed securities under special circumstances, citing Singapore's Securities and Futures Act (SFA) as well as the Financial Advisers Act.
"Offers or issues of digital tokens may be regulated by MAS if the digital tokens are capital markets products under the SFA. Capital markets products include any securities, futures contracts and contracts or arrangements for purposes of leveraged foreign exchange trading," the MAS statement read.
The new outline also mentions different case studies, including one where a token connected to a computing power-sharing platform (which wouldn't count as a security) and another that is examining a token linked to a startup investment fund (which would count as a security).
The guidelines also back earlier comments made by the MAS. In August, officials said that some token sales would be regulated by securities laws on the basis that the cryptographic data sold would establish some kind of debentures or stakes in collective investment schemes.
In addition, the MAS remarked in its new guidelines that other Singapore laws may apply to token sales, including the ones that don't really come under its direct jurisdiction.
"Digital tokens that perform functions which may not be within MAS' regulatory purview may nonetheless be subject to other legislation for combating money laundering and terrorism financing," the report indicated.
With regards to money laundering and terrorism bankrolling, the MAS said that it would carefully move to foster a new payments service outline that would regulate companies involved in "the dealing or exchange of virtual currencies for fiat or other virtual currencies."
"Such intermediaries will be required to put in place policies, procedures and controls to address such risks. These will include requirements to conduct customer due diligence, monitor transactions, perform screening, report suspicious transactions and keep adequate records," the MAS’ statement said.
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