The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has warned against the “general public” trading cryptocurrencies or digital payment tokens (DPT), as the prices of digital assets are subject to “sharp speculative swings”.
“MAS strongly encourages the development of blockchain technology and innovative application of crypto tokens in value-adding use cases. But the trading of cryptocurrencies is highly risky and not suitable for the general public,” said Loo Siew Yee, MAS assistant managing director, policy, payments and financial crime.
“DPT service providers should therefore not portray the trading of DPTs in a manner that trivialises the high risks of trading in DPTs, nor engage in marketing activities that target the general public.”
The Singapore central bank said in a statement that it has noticed that some service providers have been actively promoting their services through online and physical advertisements or through the provision of physical ATMs in public areas, which could encourage consumers to trade digital tokens on impulse, without fully understanding the attendant risks.
The new guidelines state that cryptocurrency providers such as payment institutions, banks and other financial institutions, should not advertise crypto trading services on public transport, public transport venues, public websites, social media platforms, broadcast and print media, or provision of physical ATMs in Singapore.
Companies should also not engage social media influencers to promote DPT services to the public in Singapore.
DPT service providers can only market or advertise on their own corporate websites, mobile applications, or official social media accounts, said the MAS.
Last year, authorities in Hong Kong and mainland China imposed strict bans on cryptocurrency trading. For instance, virtual assets can only be traded by professional investors in Hong Kong, while the Chinese State Council banned crypto exchanges and initial coin offerings in May 2021.