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Singapore unveils new AML rules for crypto companies

By Yana Berman

The new act brings crypto services under existing anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist rules

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued a new Payment Services Act that puts crypto services under the existing anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist-financing (CTF) rules.

Under the new system, the crypto companies based in Singapore are obliged to register their businesses via the MAS and then apply for a licence.

Starting January 28, the companies will have one month to register via the MAS. As soon as they proceed with the registration, they are given another six months to apply for a payment institution license.

Loo Siew Yee, Assistant Managing Director at the MAS, believes that the new act will provide a forward-looking and flexible regulatory framework for the payments industry. He added that the new regulation will facilitate growth and innovation while mitigating risk and fostering confidence in Singapore's payments landscape.

The act did not come as a surprise for local businesses, as its initial version was passed in January 2019. During the year, Singapore actively developed the new regulations for the crypto space.

The amendments are in line with the latest Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations. The rules now affect the transfer of cryptos, any custodial wallets launched for or on behalf of customers, and the brokering of crypto transactions. All of these businesses must now follow strict AML and CTF rules.

Meanwhile, Europe introduced the Fifth European Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) that came into power on January 10. The new rules require crypto exchanges and custodial service providers to register via local regulators and demonstrate compliance with strict AML and know-your-customer (KYC) policies.

FURTHER READING: Financial Action Task Force Urges Governments to Tighten Rules on Crypto

FURTHER READING: Five countries where crypto regulation changed the most this year

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