Report: Singapore May Add ICOs to Its Regulatory Sandbox
Here’s something interesting. After being cool on ICOs for the better part of the year, Singapore appears to be really warming up to them – and in a potentially big way.
SINGAPORE regulators are open to having initial coin offerings (ICOs) sold through a regulatory sandbox, said a senior officer from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) at a fintech event this week.
Sopnendu Mohanty, MAS’ chief fintech officer, said at the inaugural Fintech Abu Dhabi this week that there are some ideas to ringfence ICOs by using the regulatory sandbox – a concept that enables certain fintechs to test products and services in an unregulated environment, but within experimentation boundaries.
“I’m pushing colleagues to take ICOs into a sandbox and to see if there’s something we can do there,” he told event participants.
Earlier this year, the monetary authority published guidelines saying that while they did not plan to regulate the Lion City’s cryptocurrency industry, tokens representing ownership or interest in an entity would categorically fall under securities laws and as such, holders; issuers; and intermediaries would be subject to certain requirements. By adding token sales to their sandbox however, MAS would essentially legitimize them and shake up what had been a relatively sleepy Singaporean ICO scene. It would also make MAS one of the first regulators to do so, which scores them a lot hipster points.
Interestingly enough, this also comes after Hong Kong’s recent rise as an ICO hub. With the mainland’s ICO scene pushing up daisies and Singapore’s as it is today, Hong Kong has attracted several large token sales the past few months and has quite a few lined up in the future as well. People would probably be forgiven for seeing the move as Singapore trying to gain lost ground.
At any rate, if MAS does end up adding ICOs to their sandbox, others may end up doing so as well, and that should be a good thing for the Asian ICO space.