One of the most intense debates in the cryptocurrency space is whether or not tokens should be considered a security. The reason this is important is because, theoretically, if a government tags tokens as being securities, they will have to be regulated as such.
The fear is that once a token is regulated, it will lose the Wild West appeal that make tokens, and ICOs, work as a means to make money.
At a crypto conference yesterday held by Coindesk, Damien Pang, an official for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said the agency has yet to come across a crypto token that would need to be regulated by local securities laws.
This is especially important coming from MAS because Singapore has become a hub for the blockchain space (and everything surrounding the industry) after countries like China have cracked down.
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One of the issues of the securities debate is that the crypto space is more globalised than many industries, but every country has the right to regulate them as they see fit. Pang pointed this out Consensus Singapore 2018, highlighting that the United States seems to be leaning towards defining tokens as securities.
Pang also said that the MAS is working to release an updated framework by the end of 2018 to help people understand how the government views tokens.
Based on the article, it appears as if ICOs are fairly safe from regulations in Singapore. Pang referred to ‘utility tokens’ which are meant to access services and was clear that MAS had no intention of regulating those tokens. This is generally how an ICO works, selling tokens to raise money and then using those tokens to pay for the company’s services.
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Finally, Pang noted that there has yet to be a cryptocurrency company in the MAS Sandbox.
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