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Singapore’s Central Bank Joins Forces with Monetary Authorities in Japan, Switzerland, and the UK for Joint Digital Asset Pilots

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: AdobeStock / Richie Chan

Singapore’s central bank has announced plans to collaborate with monetary authorities in Japan, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom for joint digital asset pilots.

In a Monday press release, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that it will collaborate with the Financial Services Agency of Japan (FSA), the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), and the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to promote joint crypto ventures.

The primary focus of these pilots will revolve around fixed income, foreign exchange, and asset management products.

The initiative builds upon Singapore’s ongoing asset tokenization project, known as Project Guardian, which was launched in 2022.

Under Project Guardian, MAS collaborated with 15 financial institutions to conduct pilots on asset tokenization, demonstrating significant potential for transaction efficiency.

Recognizing the need for closer cross-border collaboration among policymakers and regulators as these pilots grow in scale and sophistication, MAS has established a Project Guardian policymaker group comprising the FSA, FCA, and FINMA.

The group aims to facilitate policy and accounting discussions, identify potential risks and legal gaps related to digital assets and tokenized solutions, and explore the development of common standards for digital asset networks.

“MAS’ partnership with FSA, FCA and FINMA shows a strong desire among policymakers to deepen our understanding of the opportunities and risks arising from digital asset innovation,” Leong Sing Chiong, deputy managing director at MAS, wrote.

“Through this partnership, we hope to promote the development of common standards and regulatory frameworks that can better support cross border interoperability, as well as sustainable growth of the digital asset ecosystem.”

Singapore Continues Push into Digital Currencies

Singapore has been actively engaging with global financial authorities in the realm of digital currencies.

In September 2023, MAS successfully completed a joint test of cross-border trading and settlement of wholesale central bank digital currencies in collaboration with the Bank for International Settlements and the central banks of France and Switzerland.

Back in July, Singapore also revealed plans to impose a trust requirement on cryptocurrency exchanges in a bid to instill confidence in the market and protect investors from potential losses.

At the time, the MAS stated that cryptocurrency exchanges would be required to keep customer assets in a trust.

The new regulation is expected to be implemented before the end of the year.

Additionally, Singapore will proceed with its proposal to ban lending and staking for retail investors.

The MAS initiated a consultation on these measures in October last year, just before the FTX debacle. The aim of the consultation was to enhance Singapore’s regulatory framework for digital assets.

The MAS emphasized that although regulations play a crucial role in safeguarding consumers, traders must exercise caution due to the high risk and speculative nature of digital payment token trading.