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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MAS launches Sandbox Express

Singapore Law; Legal; Lawyer

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS“) announced on 7 August 2019 that it has launched the Sandbox Express.

The Sandbox Express provides businesses with a faster option to test certain innovative financial products and services in the market. Eligible applicants can begin market testing in the pre-defined environment of up to 9 months in the Sandbox Express within 21 days of applying to MAS.

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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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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.