Singapore: MAS Clarifies Definition of Digital Tokens and Their Regulation

On August 1, 2017, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) clarified that digital tokens will be regulated by MAS and under the Securities and Futures Act (Cap. 289) (SFA), following an increase in the popularity of initial coin (or token) offerings (ICOs) in Singapore.

According to MAS, a digital token represents a "cryptographically-secured representation of a token-holder's rights to receive a benefit or to perform specified functions".

MAS stated that one of the threats is that ICOs are vulnerable to money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) risks due to the anonymous nature of the transactions, and as such the authority monitors how to regulate ML/TF risks involving digital tokens and virtual currencies.

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