Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, a crypto exchange based in the United States, spoke at the Singapore FinTech Festival 2022, November 3. raised Some are concerned that Singapore may want to be a forward-looking regulator and is not open to cryptocurrency trading.
Armstrong stated: “Singapore wants to be a Web3 hub, and then simultaneously say: ’Oh, we’re not really going to allow retail trading or self-hosted wallets to be available.” He then said: “Those two things are incompatible in my mind.”
Armstrong further said: “Crypto should not be treated at a disadvantage; they should be treated equally with other financial service regulations.”
Armstrong’s comments came after Coinbase received in-principle approval by Singapore Central Bank to provide digital payment token services within the city-state.
Meanwhile, Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and Ravi Menon, the Central Bank’s Managing Director who were present at the event responded to Armstrong’s concerns.
Mohanty stated that retail investors today are “exposed to risks they do not understand they are taking.” He said the Singapore central bank believes that Web 3.0 is the future, but wants to ensure that money trading within the ecosystem is a safe currency. Mohanty explained that while the regulator doesn’t worry about internet protocols, it cares about consumers and wants to ensure they are protected.
On the other hand, Mr. Menon responded that MAS “wants to develop the city-state into a ‘crypto hub’ fueled by instant settlements, tokenized assets, and programmable money, not ‘speculating in cryptocurrencies’.”
Menon stated that Singapore wants to become a crypto asset hub, but not one where trading and speculation in cryptocurrencies takes place.
Menon further explained that “real value in the crypto industry comes from tokenizing assets and placing them on a distributed ledger for use cases that increase economic efficiency.”
Menon’s comments at the conference came after officials in Hong Kong announced at their own annual gathering, the Hong Kong FinTech Week, a series of policies to re-attract digital asset investment.
The announcement signaled that Hong Kong has joined the race to become Asia’s main financial hub.
Hong Kong unveiled Monday’s overhaul of crypto regulations. This puts the city on track to legalize retail trading. It also gave firms the possibility to create futures-based crypto exchange traded funds. Officials are willing to examine the legality and property rights of tokenized assets as well as smart contract legality.