No Tokens Require Regulation Under Security Laws by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)


The city-state de-facto central bank in Singapore, which is the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been reviewing the current tokens on the crypto market for quite some time. However, even though many countries are considering these tokens as securities, MAS has determined that none of them fall under their own securities jurisdictions.

On Wednesday, CoinDesk’s Consensus Singapore 2018 conference took place. The head of MAS’s technology office for fintech, Damien Pang, spoke to the group regarding new framework titled “A Guide to Digital Token Offerings.” This framework was actually published last year, offering a more understandable version to entrepreneurs within the crypto industry.

One of the reasons that Pang seemed to clarify his statement is because of the differing jurisdictions and how they judge their own securities within their countries. The United States Securities and Trade Commission (SEC), for example, has not established framework, despite being incredibly vocal on the topic.

In the MAS publication, the bank displayed a 13-page document that categorized tokens into three categories – utility, payments, and securities. Contrary to his former beliefs, Pang says that these classifications could change over time, depending on their growth and evolvement. He said:

“The MAS takes a close look at the characteristics of the tokens, in the past, at the present and in the future, instead of just the technology built on.”

Pang continued on, saying:

“The MAS does not intend to regulate utility tokens that are used to access certain services. But a payments service bill is expected to be enacted by the end of this year to apply to payment tokens, which have storage and payment values.”

If the tokens change their characteristics and functions over time to be more like securities, like making a promise for future earnings, then Singapore would make the choice to regulate.

The discussion moved over to the sandbox initiative that the bank has established, while bringing up how projects were taking advantage of the resources. Right now, there has been no acceptance of token projects, but MetLife Insurance is working on an application that employs blockchain technology to streamline medical insurance transactions.

With no apprehension, Pang also took on some difficult questions about regulatory measures as well, bringing up why the regulator has not been well-defined in what tokens fall outside the laws. Pang explained his approach, saying:

“The moment you start naming names, people take it very literally – these are and those are not. But in fact, there are more than 1000 tokens. Bear in mind, we provide clear guidelines to categorize them.”

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