Regulations on Trading and Investing in Crypto Assets

What regulations apply to crypto traders/investors who are not cryptocurrency intermediaries?

Retail investment or trading in crypto assets is not regulated in Singapore per se, although MAS often warns the general public not to engage in the trading of digital payment tokens. This also means that there is no protection if investors lose money from their crypto investments.

Only entities which are considered cryptocurrency intermediaries (also referred to as digital payment token service providers under Singapore regulations) are regulated by the MAS and need to be licenced under the Payment Services Act 2019.

Of course, any other persons who commit fraud, or other illegal activity involving crypto will also be penalised by the law.

According to MAS (Media Releases)
last revised on 17 January 2022

Under the PS Act, entities which provide services relating to DPTs are regulated primarily for money laundering and terrorism financing risks, as well as technology risk. Customers of regulated entities must be informed of the risks of trading in DPTs under the PSN08 Notice on Disclosures and Communications but are otherwise not subject to any statutory protection for their trading of DPTs.

According to MAS (Parliamentary Replies)
last revised on 05 February 2018

2. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been closely studying these developments and the potential risks they pose. As of now, there is no strong case to ban cryptocurrency trading here. But we will be subjecting those involved as intermediaries to our anti-money laundering regulations [including the Payment Services Act] . And we will keep highlighting to Singaporeans that they could lose their shirts when they invest money in cryptocurrencies.

8. In the meantime, there are general safeguards that are in place against AML/CFT risks. Our enforcement agencies are on the lookout for illegal activities related to cryptocurrency trading.

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According to MAS (Media Releases)
last revised on 20 December 2017

4     There is no regulatory safeguard for investments in cryptocurrencies. As in most jurisdictions, MAS does not regulate cryptocurrencies. Nor do MAS regulations extend to the safety and soundness of cryptocurrency intermediaries or the proper processing of cryptocurrency transactions. 

7     Members of the public who lose money from investing in cryptocurrencies will not be able to rely on any protection afforded under legislation administered by MAS.