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

Metaverse Gaming NFT

Despite crypto winter, Fastex grabs $23.2 million in Fasttoken token sale

Fasttoken, part of the Fastex web3 ecosystem, has secured $23.2 million in financing through the private and public token sales of its native cryptocurrency Fasttoken (FTN).

Digital Assets

Iran to repay Russian debts in gold-backed stablecoins

A high-ranking member of the Russian parliament confirmed reports that his country was in talks with Iran to create a stablecoin for foreign trade settlements, to replace the dollar, ruble and Iranian rial.

Digital Assets

SEC denies Cathie Wood’s bitcoin ETF for second time

The approval of a regulated crypto derivative is still looking far less likely, as the US regulators have once again denied Cathie Wood’s application for a long-awaited spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Executive Moves

Pavel Spirin promoted to Scope Markets CEO following Rostro acquisition

Belize-based FX and CFDs brokerage Scope Markets has promoted Pavel Spirin to take on an expanded role as the company’s chief executive officer. He replaces the outgoing CEO Jacob Plattner, who has also been a major shareholder since he resigned his position as managing director at GKFX.

Retail FX

Public.com goes all-in on alternative investing, launches Rare Sneaker Portfolio

“The concept of curated Portfolios means that our members will be able to invest in categories like art, trading cards, royalties, and real estate without needing to become subject matter experts on individual assets.”

Industry News

State Street taps AWS and Microsoft for cloud and infrastructure solutions

“By standardizing and simplifying our technology operating model, we will be able to more quickly deploy client environments and launch new products and services, while continuing to enhance the resiliency of our technology environment and our business operations.”

Institutional FX

Bitpanda launches Investment-as-a-Service business for banks, fintechs, online platforms

“Financial institutions today have to ask themselves how they aim to cater the increasing demand for modern investing solutions. Building these Individually, means a high startup cost, and products that are often outdated before they are even launched.”

Institutional FX

Options expands market data feeds after partnership with Tools for Brokers

“Our integration with ACTIV Financial marked the beginning of a new era in market data availability and infrastructure. Our teams have come together to provide unparalleled, fully managed market data services alongside Options’ global connectivity and infrastructure.”

Industry News

Recruitment in financial services sector buoyant despite planned mass layoffs

“It remains to be seen what impact this will have on hiring levels within the financial services arena this quarter”, said APSCo, regarding the expected mass layoffs within the financial services sector in England & Wales. 

<