Singapore watchdog cracks down on crypto marketing to public

abdelaziz Fathi

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is clamping down on marketing crypto investments to the public as part of a wider move by the city-state to prevent harm to unprofessional consumers.

Singapore’s watchdog published a set of guidelines instructing so-called ‘digital payment token (DPT)’ companies to stop advertising their products in public spaces. The ban applies to both physical and virtual adverts, particularly online and on social media platforms, as the MAS described the trading of crypto assets “highly risky and not suitable for the general public.”

“DPTa should not portray the trading of DPTs cryptocurrencies in a manner that trivializes the high risks of trading in DPTs, and should not promote their DPT services in public areas in Singapore or through any other media directed at the general public in Singapore,” the MAS said.

Crypto companies have also been told not to solicit customers through ads on social media platforms or other public websites. The non-binding guidelines also prohibit publishing ads on public transport, or through broadcast and print media. They are also discouraged from engaging third parties, such as social media influencers, or providing physical ATMs in Singapore for dispensing crypto tokens.

Instead, crypto firms can only market their offering on their own corporate websites, mobile applications or official social media accounts.

FX and CFD brokers must go multi asset: Join free webinar from TraderEvolution to learn how

Singapore received 180 crypto applications

Mas has identified crypto as a priority within financial advertising and companies may be issued with warnings or required to include disclaimers on their advertisements.

Interestingly, Crypto.com has been promoting its exchange and wallet services in movie theaters in Singapore. The platform has partnered with Matt Damon to formally introduce the platform to consumers around the world. The Hollywood movie star was the hero of a global brand and advertisement campaign – entitled “Fortune Favours the Brave” – that aired in over 20 countries.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has updated its regulatory framework for crypto-related activities, including digital payments. The country’s Payment Services Act (PSA) covers all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore, bringing crypto players under anti-money laundering and counterterrorist-financing rules.

Singaporean regulators have received 180 licence applications from digital asset providers as the country was seen to be crypto-friendly and has been attracting global firms to set up offices here. This included top crypto exchanges such as Binance and Kraken. Although the MAS has recently given its in-principle approval to several applicants, but over 30 applications were withdrawn after engagement with the agency and two have been rejected.

Read this next

Institutional FX

FX volume drops 13pct at CLS Group in April 2022

FX settlement specialist CLS Group today reported that the executed volumes of currency trading on its platforms were notably down in April.

Crypto Insider, Opinion

Regulation: The Gold-Standard for Crypto-Assets

When the US supervisory authority SEC allowed an investment product referencing Bitcoin futures to be traded for the first time last October, this was widely perceived as a signal that cryptocurrencies had finally become established as an asset class.

Executive Moves

Solid hires FX industry veteran Darren Barker for multi-bank ECN’s business development

His curriculum vitae includes former roles at Cantor Fitzgerald, Sucden Financial, R.J. O’Brien, Jefferies, Natixis, Unicredit, J.P. Morgan, Raiffeisen, RBS International, UBS, Deutsche Bank, and Citi. 

Inside View

Mihails Safro, xpate CEO: Tips sellers need to know to overcome compliance obstacles

The unprecedented growth of e-commerce changed shopping dramatically last year. Many sellers suddenly faced a rapidly growing number of customers who had to stay home during the lockdown. When some clients adopted Netflix and Spotify as part of a daily routine, others ventured into online business. Robinhood alone saw a whopping 6 million rise in user numbers in 2 months. 

Institutional FX

BMLL delivers Level 3 data to Kepler Cheuvreux for order book analytics and algo performance

The solution covers more than 6.5 years of harmonised historical data from 65 venues and combines it with easy to use APIs and analytics libraries in a secure cloud environment. 

Digital Assets

Crypto Is An Invaluable Tool In The Fight Against Financial Oppression  

Crypto has proven itself to be much more than just a hot investment. Indeed, some say it’s poised to play a critical role in the future of finance

Executive Moves

Parameta appoints Head of Benchmark and Indices with a focus on ESG and rates

The firm said building out its benchmarks & indices offering will now be a core priority, with a particular focus on the ESG and rates space.

Digital Assets

WunderTrading brings automated crypto trading to United States

“Among developed countries, Americans are the heaviest users of cryptocurrencies, with 13% having invested in cryptocurrencies over the past year.”

Retail FX

ACY Securities sponsors child safety and family welfare charity Barnardos Australia

Sponsoring Barnardos will give ACY Securities and its employees an opportunity to do volunteer work through different outreach programs.

<