New directives for bitcoin wallet service providers in Singapore state that advertisements are now prohibited in public areas. These operators are limited to placing adverts on native websites and mobile applications.
Promoting crypto exchanges and investments on social media and other physical media is now a challenge for financial regulators worldwide. Their main concern is the lack of applicable regulations in the crypto market space. Due to lawmakers' delay in providing crypto policies to regulate the area, financial regulators have decided to make valuable changes. Regulators around the globe feel they have enough reason to believe that crypto operators try so hard to hide the high risks associated with crypto investments through their adverts. Most of the ads on-air only stress the increased profits made from crypto trades and withhold the potential losses that could also be incurred.
All over the world, most governments are enacting regulations to limit crypto risks and save their residents from falling victim to fraud in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The U.K., Singapore, and Spanish governments have positioned advertisement watchdogs to monitor and regulate new crypto-advertisements in their public spaces. The Indian High Court is also implementing new policies to crack down on these misleading promotional items.
Last year, Singapore was lauded for being the most crypto-friendly Southeast Asian country. However, the government has made the space safer for its residents by providing new guidelines for operators to follow. Some have disparaged this move by claiming that the government is trying to reduce the number of investors in the crypto space.
The New Guidelines
Last month, the Monetary Authority of Singapore sent off a memo to crypto providers, known as Digital Payment Token (DPT) providers, concerning the indiscreet crypto advertisements found in various public spaces around the country and on social media platforms. The new guidelines bar these DPT service providers from advertising or marketing their services in public areas, either by themselves or through a third party.
MAS also issued warnings to the general public to make their risk assessments before delving into the crypto market. They emphasized the high risks in the crypto ecosystem and warned that they had a high chance of losing most or all of the money invested in a trade or token. The crypto market is a volatile one, and many crypto service providers fail to input this critical detail in their ads. The announced guidelines will halt the positioning of crypto promotional materials in apparent spots like public transport, recreational parks, sidewalks, public transportation venues, public websites, broadcast, print media, and social media platforms.
These directives affect all crypto service providers registered with the Singaporean authorities, as well as those who are in the process of establishing their DPT operations.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore expects that all DPT service providers must reorganize their operations to suit these new guidelines. No crypto operator is permitted to advertise their crypto services or platforms to the residents of Singapore, and all must understand that the trading of DPTs with the general public is now a punishable crime.
In addition to the restrictions on crypto advertisements in public spaces, the MAS has ordered the closure of all cryptocurrency Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) positioned across the country. The agency states that all applications for ATMs within and around public spaces in Singapore will be automatically rejected.
According to Loo Siew Yee, the agency's assistant managing director for policy, payment, and financial crime, the general public has no business trading cryptocurrencies; hence DPTs need to be warned against targeting them with appealing marketing strategies.
Is This The End Of DPTs In Singapore?
While these latest directives will lead to a retraction in the growth of the Singaporean crypto industry, it does not equate to its death. DPT companies can advertise and promote their services on their websites and mobile applications. Meanwhile, crypto experts within and around the country claim that the ads rarely generate new users for the crypto community. They believe that most users delve into the crypto space after hearing about its benefits from family and acquaintances.
Of course, the decision from MAS and other regulators around the globe comes at a time when cryptocurrencies are gaining widespread popularity, with crypto developers setting up shops in various locations. However, it doesn't mean the industry won't pick itself up again. To these regulators, the protection of the general public comes first.