Singapore Issues Guidelines Targeting Crypto Promotions to General Public

Providers are now barred from promoting their services to the public except through their official social media accounts and websites.


Singapore, Source: Shutterstock


key takeaways

  • The central bank said Monday providers of crypto should not portray trading in a manner that “trivializes the high risks of trading” the new asset class
  • Providers are now barred from advertising or promoting their services to the public via any means except through their own websites, social media accounts, or mobile applications

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued guideline expectations signifying cryptocurrency providers operating within the country should not be allowed to promote their services to the general public.

According to the central bank’s guidelines released Monday, MAS said digital payment tokens (DPT) providers should not portray trading of crypto in a manner that downplays the risks of trading the new asset class.

As such, regulated providers, including banks and financial institutions are now barred from advertising or promoting their crypto services to the public via any means except through their own websites, social media accounts, or mobile applications.

While Singapore is viewed as a crypto-progressive nation, its regulation, monitoring and control over digital assets is seen by the bank as a necessary step to ensuring public safety. The move against promotional materials to the public marks another case in attempting to balance the two philosophies.

“The trading of cryptocurrencies is highly risky and not suitable for the general public,” said Loo Siew Yee, MAS’s Assistant Managing Director (Policy, Payments and Financial Crime), in a statement on Monday. “DPT service providers should therefore not portray the trading of DPTs in a manner that trivializes the high risks of trading in DPTs, nor engage in marketing activities that target the general public.”

Providers are also being warned not to engage third parties, such as “social media influencers” or “third-party websites” to promote their services to the Singaporean public.

MAS said the rules apply to those licensees regulated under the country’s Payment Services Act — a statute that lays out a framework for payment systems and providers operating within the island-city-state in a bid to disrupt terror financing and money laundering.

The act also applies to all service providers who are required to apply and hold a license for providing crypto services and was updated in 2021 to reflect the industry’s changing landscape.

The bank said customers of regulated entities “must be informed of the risks” of trading in crypto under the country’s PSN08 Notice on Disclosures and Communications. Though customers are otherwise not subject to any statutory protection for their trading of crypto which is still legal throughout Singapore.

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