MAS Consultation on New Omnibus Act for the Financial Sector – Virtual Assets Service Providers & Digital Tokens

Significance: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) intends to pass a new omnibus statute to regulate all financial institutions (FIs), including (among others) virtual assets service providers (VASPs) or digital tokens (DT) service provider registered in Singapore but which perform services outside of Singapore.

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Legislative Update: MAS Payment Services Act and fintech

Significance: new Payment Services Act (“PSA“) by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) was passed by Parliament on 14 January 2019. This new law will replace the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act (Cap. 222A) (“PSOA”) and the Money-Changing and Remittance Businesses Act (Cap. 187) (“MCRBA”).

The proposed new law will apply to:-

a) account issuance service;
b) domestic money transfer service;
c) cross-border money transfer service;
d) merchant acquisition services;
e) e-money issuance service;
f) digital payment token service (cryptocurrencies or virtual currencies);
g) money-changing service.

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Legislative Update: Market Operators in Singapore – Cryptocurrency and Digital Token Exchanges

Singapore Law; Legal; Lawyer
Updated: Cryptocurrency and digital token exchanges may be market operators or digital payment token exchange Cryptocurrency and digital token exchanges (“Token Exchanges”) which allow the trading and exchange of any token which are “capital markets products”, that is securities, shares, bonds, debentures, units in collective investment schemes, regulated under the SFA would likely be deemed to be market operators: see Case Study 6 of the Guide to Digital Token Offerings issued on 14 November 2017, revised on 30 November 2018 (the “DTO Guide”). Token Exchanges which do not allow trading of any capital markets products regulated under the SFA would not be deemed market operators. However, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) will regulate such exchanges which allow trading of cryptocurrency and digital payment tokens (or virtual currencies) that are not security tokens under a proposed new Payments Services Act (“PSA“): see analysis of the Payment Services Bill here. Operators of Token Exchanges that allow trading of “capital markets products” will need to obtain MAS’s approval, recognition or exemption under the SFA. Operators of Token Exchanges that allow trading of digital payment tokens that are not security tokens or “capital markets products” will need to apply for a licence from MAS under the PSA. Exchanges licensed under the PSA to perform such activities will be required to comply with AML/CFT requirements, including those relating to identification and verification of customer, ongoing monitoring, screening for ML/TF concerns, suspicious transaction reporting and record keeping. More information on this will emerge subsequently. Continue reading “Legislative Update: Market Operators in Singapore – Cryptocurrency and Digital Token Exchanges”

Regulatory Update: MAS Guide to Digital Token Offerings

JUST IN. MAS Guide to Digital Token Offerings.

The case studies are very helpful in illustrating MAS’ position on whether certain scenarios fall within regulated activities under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) or Financial Advisers Act (FAA).

Case study 1: tokens only give access rights to token issuer’s platform and pay for services on the same–not subject to SFA or FAA.

Case study 2: tokens to represent share in company which plans to develop property. Will constitute securities under SFA. Company may need to apply to be licensed financial adviser. Company will need to comply with prospectus requirements.

Case study 3: tokens enable holders to receive profits from company’s investments in a portfolio of shares in companies. Token holders have no powers relating to operations or management. Will constitute collective investment scheme (CIS). Company will need to comply with prospectus requirements, and likely will need to apply for capital markets services (CMS) licence.

Case study 4: token holders receive profits from investment in shares of portfolio of companies. Token issue not available to persons in Singapore. Part XIII of SFA will not apply. But company may be carrying on business of fund management in Singapore and may thus need to apply for CMS licence.

Case study 5: tokens represent loan by investor to startup. Token will be deemed a debenture and thus securities under the SFA. Company facilitating purchase or sale of token may require CMS licence.

Case study 6: company plans to set up virtual currency exchange platform. On the premise that no products regulated under SFA will be traded, SFA will not apply. If any token constitutes securities under SFA, then company may be operating a securities market and thus need to be approved as an exchange by MAS.

http://www.mas.gov.sg/Regulations-and-Financial-Stability/Regulations-Guidance-and-Licensing/Securities-Futures-and-Funds-Management/Guidelines/2017/A-Guide-to-Digital-Token-Offerings.aspx