Singapore Bans Public Ads for Crypto Service Providers

Singapore has joined a list of countries cracking down on public advertisements from digital currency service providers operating in the country. According to a newly published guideline that was directed to cryptocurrencies or digital payment tokens (DPT) service providers, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) maintained that the trading of these nascent assets is not suitable for the public, and service providers must act in this regard.

With the guideline directed to both licensed crypto service providers, as well as those in the transitional period, the “MAS stresses that DPT service providers should conduct themselves with the understanding that trading of DPTs is not suitable for the general public. These Guidelines set out MAS’ expectation that DPT service providers should not promote their DPT services to the general public in Singapore.”

Despite its clear stance on crypto advertisements to the general public, the MAS is very flexible and says affected parties can still advertise their products on their platform websites, or through the application with which they offer their services.

“DPT service providers may promote their services on their own corporate website, mobile applications, or official social media accounts, but must not trivialise the risks of trading in DPTs in a manner that is inconsistent with or contradicts the risk disclosures under the PS Act,” the guideline reads.

Singapore Crypto Ad Ban: Now a Common Trend Amongst Regulators

The growth of digital currencies in the past few years and their broad adoption by both retail and institutional investors have done little to convince regulators around the world of the riskiness of investing in these growing asset classes.

Just like the Singapore crypto ad ban, many countries around the world are also trailing this path with France, India, and the United Kingdom amongst the major economies in this light. While many are also restricting crypto payments as an additional measure to crackdown on the industry, the motive is always the same amongst these regulators, and it is often centered on protecting consumers from the scams and at best, the extreme volatilities of digital currencies as a whole.

With crypto-assets not regulated in a comprehensive way in most countries, it becomes arguably difficult to provide oversight to players in the space the same way regulators do for traditional financial market players. While Singapore did not stipulate a punishment for offenders, other crypto related offences like illegal mining can attract up to a 34-years jail term.