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As investors across the globe flock to invest in cryptocurrencies, Singapore has sounded the alarm bells, warning people against trading in digital assets.
Despite the tiny percentage of individuals investing in cryptocurrencies compared to other nations, the numbers have increased and it’s a worrying sign for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP recorded combined peak daily trading volumes of 2 percent of the average daily trading volume of other assets such as stocks and bonds on the country’s stock exchange in 2020.
Cryptocurrencies are risky business.
During a question-and-answer session at the Parliament on April 5, 2021, MAS chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam warned that cryptocurrencies are highly volatile in nature because they’re not related to economic fundamentals.
“They are hence highly risky as investment products, and certainly not suitable for retail investors,” he warned, adding that the government agency hasn’t authorized the trading of cryptocurrency to retail investors.
That said, MAS can impose additional measures and regulations on providers of digital tokens.
But crypto is the future, no?
Singapore’s warning comes amid an interesting period when bank interest rates are close to zero across nations, enticing people to alternatives that provide better returns.
Among these alternatives include cryptocurrencies, seen as the future. With Tesla announcing that people can purchase its cars via cryptocurrency, and as more and more people such as Mark Cuban, Elon Musk, and Paul Tudo Jones start endorsing the alternative assets, it’s only a matter of time before cryptocurrencies become the way of the world.
However, Tharman and many other regulators are concerned about cryptocurrency fraud. And he’s not alone. The Paris-based European Securities and Markets Authority (EMSA) recently warned people of the risks they face as market value of the asset moved past US$2 trillion for the first time in history.
To make matters difficult, ensuring that the crypto market is free of fraud poses a huge challenge for these regulators.
Regulation is key.
MAS chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam. IMAGE: Rikvin.
“The crypto assets space is constantly evolving,” Tharman revealed, adding that his agency is constantly monitoring developments.
“MAS has been closely monitoring developments and will continue to adapt its rules as needed to ensure that regulation remains effective and commensurate with the risks posed. Investors, on their part, should exercise extreme caution when trading cryptocurrencies.”
Singapore has also begun doubling its efforts to nip cryptocurrency-related money-laundering and terrorism financing risks in the bud.
MAS is combating such risks through surveillance of the crypto sector and raising awareness of the risks it poses.
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Cover image sourced from CNBC.
ที่มา : Mashable