Singapore Clarifies ICO Token Regulation, Follows US
Singapore’s financial regulator has joined the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in clarifying its stance on DAO and ICO tokens.
In a circular issued Tuesday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) stated tokens would fall under its jurisdiction if they “constitute products regulated under the Securities and Futures Act.”
“The types of digital tokens offered in Singapore and elsewhere vary widely,” the note finds.
“Some offers may be subject to the SFA while others may not be. All issuers of digital tokens, intermediaries facilitating or advising on an offer of digital tokens and platforms facilitating trading in digital tokens should, therefore, seek independent legal advice to ensure they comply with all applicable laws and consult MAS where appropriate.”
The tone taken in Singapore broadly echoes that in the US, with the SEC also stating it would use a case-by-case method of assessing the identity of a newly-issued token offered for US consumers.
“In addition, platforms facilitating secondary trading of such tokens would also have to be approved or recognized by MAS as an approved exchange or recognised market operator respectively under the SFA,” the MAS’ rules continue.
“The statement itself does not reveal anything new: just like before it, they will continue to consider ICOs case by case; and companies running ICO campaigns will have to be honest and straight in dealings with their investors and should not deceive anyone, especially citizens of the United States and Singapore. For honest people with good ideas, nothing has really changed. It’s just that Singapore can not remain silent as they have already taken many steps to implement Blockchain technology and, of course, they are exploring the market.”
While not striking an unexpected note, reactions to the clarification were mixed, with attorney Marco Santori suggesting it meant Singapore was not as liberal an environment for innovative offerings as many thought.