More than 100 companies that have applied for a license to offer crypto services in Singapore have either been rejected or their applications have been withdrawn. “Due to the speed and the cross-border nature of the transactions, cryptocurrencies could be misused for money laundering, terrorist financing or proliferation financing,” said the country’s central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Since Singapore began regulating the Crypto sector has started, around 170 companies have applied for a license to offer “digital payment token services,” which also include crypto-related services.

However, more than 100 companies that have applied for a license have been either rejected or their applications withdrawn, Nikkei Asia reported on Monday.

Companies that were operating in the country prior to the introduction of the approval regime were granted exemptions pending processing of their approval applications. Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam told Parliament in July that 90 companies were operating under such exceptions.

A spokesman for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank and regulator for the crypto sector, told the news agency: “Cryptocurrencies could be due to the speed and the cross-border nature of the transactions.” The speaker stated:

Providers of digital payment token services in Singapore … must meet the requirements to mitigate such risks, including the need to exercise due diligence conduct regular account reviews of clients, monitor and report suspicious transactions.

To date, only three companies are listed as licensed companies on the MAS website: DBS Vickers Securities, a unit of DBS Group Holdings, the largest bank in Southeast Asia ; Digital payments startup FOMO Pay; and Australia’s Independent Reserve. MAS said in November that Singapore is aiming to become a global crypto hub.

DBS’s Head of Capital Markets and the bank’s crypto exchange chairman said in September, “We are growing very quickly. Investors are gradually exploring cryptocurrencies and digital assets. ”

In September, the central bank ordered Binance to stop providing crypto services to residents. Last week, Binance announced that it was closing its Singapore platform.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) claimed the reason for closing its Singapore exchange was due to an 18 percent stake in Hg Exchange (HGX), a regulated stock exchange in Singapore. However, Bloomberg reported that the real reason was that Binance failed to qualify for a license to operate a crypto exchange.

What do you think of Singapore’s strict crypto regulation? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin, a student of Austrian economics, found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open source systems, network effects and the interface between economy and cryptography.

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