The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the launch of two token pilots to explore the use of tokens in wholesale finance markets. The pilots went live on November 2, 2022, and the first trades involving tokenized Singapore dollars and yen were completed, according to the official release.
DBS Bank, JP Morgan, and SBI Digital Asset Holdings took part in the trial, all of which are international financial organizations with a substantial presence in Singapore. With Project Guardian, MAS hopes to strengthen the securities sector by leveraging decentralized finance (DeFi) as it progressively leans toward distributed ledger technology (DLT).
Singapore aspires to be a worldwide cryptocurrency hub. Still, the government has been cracking down on using digital currencies after many retail investors lost their life savings to crypto trading. Due to its volatile and speculative nature, the city-state warned traders that crypto is "extremely dangerous and not fit for the general public."
Singapore also outlawed crypto advertising in public places and on social media in January 2021, and recently suggested new regulations to protect ordinary investors in the aftermath of the Terra's Luna coin's 60 billion US dollar collapse.
Nonetheless, Singapore has openly expressed its support for blockchain technology and has kicked off several projects. Project Ubin is one of them, having successfully completed its blockchain trial for the clearing and settlement of payments and securities.
The city-state's government structure was a crucial factor in Singapore's quick adoption of digital asset regulation. Unlike in the United States, Singapore has only one domestic financial regulator with ultimate authority over digital asset regulation: the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
The MAS is a hybrid central bank and financial regulator with a dual mandate to promote the development of the financial sector. Through this, more can be expected in Singapore’s digital assets and how they will move forward into the new phase of their efforts to turn the country into a crypto hub.
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