Just how serious is Singapore about blockchain? Immensely, apparently.
Speaking at an event called Consensus: Singapore, Damien Pang, the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Technology Infrastructure Office chief, said that blockchain – together with artificial intelligence – are “fundamental” technologies for the transformation of the financial services industry, the South China Morning Post reports.
“We take an approach where our regulations aim at the purpose rather than the technology platform itself,” Pang said, adding that they “aim not to directly regulate a specific technology itself, because technologies are always getting better.”
Singapore is looking to become the world’s preeminent cryptocurrency haven following China’s crackdown on digital currencies and ICOs. Citing data compiled by ICORating, the SCMP says that 57 blockchain projects in Singapore raised nearly $575 million through ICOs in the second quarter of this year. In contrast, 14 blockchain projects in Hong Kong raised about $48 million in the same time frame.
Pang reiterated that the MAS, based on guidelines published in November last year, breaks down digital assets into three groups: utility tokens, payment tokens and securities. The MAS has no plans to regulate utility tokens, which allow users to access a company’s product or service, but will enact a payment service law for payment tokens by the end of this year, according to Pang. He said none of the tokens that the MAS has seen so far were securities.