Singapore to regulate virtual currency intermediaries

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has outlined plans to regulate virtual currency intermediaries, to address potential risks relating to money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has outlined plans to regulate virtual currency intermediaries, to address potential risks relating to money laundering and terrorist financing.

The regulator requires intermediaries, including Bitcoin exchanges and Bitcoin vending machines, that buy, sell or facilitate the exchange of digital currencies to verify customers’ identities and report suspicious transactions to the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office.

MAS deputy managing director, Ong Chong Tee, said that the authority is taking a targeted regulatory approach to virtual currencies to specifically address money laundering and terrorist financing risks.

"Consumers and businesses should take note of the broader risks that dealing in virtual currencies entails and should exercise the necessary caution," added Tee.

MAS stated it will continue to focus on the development and implications of virtual currencies and emerging regulatory approaches, and will consider additional measures to address the risks, if required.