Singapore introduces regulatory framework for stablecoins

abdelaziz Fathi

Singapore’s financial regulator on Tuesday unveiled its regulatory framework for stablecoins, those cryptocurrencies pegged to fiat money for a more solid and stable asset. As part of this framework, stablecoin issuers seeking approval in Singapore must fulfill specific prerequisites related to value stability, capital reserves, and redemption obligations.

Singapore ranked number 3 financial center globally

The new measures will be the focal point of the next phase of legislative consultation, with feedback being sought from industry players before eventually proposing the changes to the Payment Services Act. However, putting these amendments into action is not expected to occur in the near future, likely taking more than a year for the revised laws to come into effect.

The proposed regulation grants stablecoin issuers the flexibility to store customers’ stablecoins either with licensed financial institutions in Singapore or overseas custodians, provided the latter have a minimum credit rating of “A-“.

The revised framework specifically targets non-bank issuers of single-currency stablecoins tied to the Singapore Dollar or any G10 currencies, provided their circulation exceeds S$5 million. Such coins will be classified as MAS-regulated stablecoins. Before these regulatory changes come into effect, legislative consultations are requisite, culminating in amendments passed by Parliament.

Hern Shin, Deputy Managing Director of Financial Supervision at MAS, said, “MAS’ stablecoin regulatory framework aims to facilitate the use of stablecoins as a credible digital medium of exchange, and as a bridge between the fiat and digital asset ecosystems. We encourage SCS issuers who would like their stablecoins recognised as “MAS regulated stablecoins” to make early preparations for compliance.”

Single-currency stablecoins represent a subset of cryptocurrencies pegged to traditional assets, often fiat currencies. Singapore has so far seen the release of only one stablecoin. For custodians to be eligible to provide their services, they must operate a branch within Singapore that falls under MAS regulatory oversight.

These alterations augment a set of requirements initially introduced in an October consultation the previous year. They mandate that stablecoin issuers seeking the “MAS-regulated” label submit independent attestations of their reserves monthly to the central bank, making the data accessible on their websites. Additionally, these issuers are required to file an annual audited report, maintain reserves equal to or greater than the par value of their stablecoins in circulation, consistently evaluated on a daily mark-to-market basis, among other requirements.

Under the new measures, stablecoins are obliged to maintain a minimum base of SGD 1 million ($740,000) and ensure redemption within five business days upon request. This robust regulatory push aligns with the broader global trend of jurisdictions striving to establish a framework for stablecoins, given their increasing prominence in the digital financial landscape.

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