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Singapore and India: Different Crypto Views

While in Singapore Alibaba, Google, others apply for payments with crypto, India has a different view and will drop the Bitcoin ban in favor of classifying cryptocurrencies as assets.

Colorful facade of a building in Little India, Singapore.
Colorful facade of a building in Little India, Singapore. (Pic from Shutterstock)

The responsible authority in Singapore highlighted the existing interest among Singaporean companies in crypto payment operations. Accordingly, it argued that they would take the corresponding time to study the applicants and ensure that everything obeys current laws.


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) distributed a report that includes companies such as Google, Alibaba, and at least 300 other companies presenting their requests to make payments and cryptocurrency exchanges in the Asian country.


The notice was released by the director of the financial technology area for the MAS, Sopnendu Mohanty, during an interview with Bloomberg. He revealed the interest shown by many companies operating under these guidelines and the evolution that has been presented in Singapore over the last few years within the digital payments sector, raising more than $1,100 million in 2020 in this line of services.


Although for Mohanty, cryptocurrencies are a foreign matter from a personal point of view, he acknowledged that the MAS is working hard to raise awareness among residents of the country precisely to be careful when investing in these assets. In that sense, he reported that local authorities are first institutionalizing exchanges, entities that have brought a change in thinking and approaching payments with digital currencies.

Google, Alibaba, and other interested companies

Concerning applications for licenses to operate payments and cryptocurrency exchanges, the report published by the MAS highlights that there are companies such as Alibaba, Google, and 300 others that have submitted their respective applications to the regulator.


Specifically, companies that apply to obtain a license for payment services adhere to a comprehensive regulatory framework, covering operations related to cryptocurrencies, including payments and commercial activities.


Given a large number of applications, Mohanty assured that they are working to speed up the process. However, those waiting can offer such services up to a certain margin before the respective license is approved.


Regarding the time this process takes, Mohanty commented.

"Licensing someone is a reward, not something to be taken lightly. So we make sure that whoever obtains a license from MAS is a serious entity."



India will drop the Bitcoin ban

According to Indian media reports, state officials in that country are no longer interested in banning Bitcoin. They also say that the country's lawmakers will debate the cryptocurrency regulation bill during the Parliament session.


The New Indian Express report highlights that the government's hostile stance towards Bitcoin (BTC) appears to be shifting towards common-sense regulatory policies for cryptocurrencies.

According to the Indian media, "The main sources tracking the industry told this publication that the government has moved away from its previous hostile stance towards virtual currencies and will most likely classify Bitcoin as an asset class in India soon."


The outlet adds that sources also said that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) would oversee regulations for the cryptocurrency sector after classifying Bitcoin as an asset class. The local media also compared this turn of the Indian authorities with what happened in El Salvador, which has just approved a law that turns Bitcoin into legal tender.

Bill discussion

Sources cited by the Indian outlet also claim that Parliament will debate a comprehensive crypto regulation bill during the Monsoon Session in July. As Cointelegraph recalls, a panel of experts created by the Ministry of Finance is studying protocols for crypto regulation, and its finding could be part of parliamentary deliberations next month.


Commenting on the positive signs emerging on the crypto regulation front, Ketan Surana, a member of the Internet and Mobile Association of India, declared: "We can say that the new committee that is working on cryptocurrencies is very optimistic about its regulation and legislation."


The Reserve Bank of India continues to be critical of cryptocurrencies. This month's news item indicated that the highest authority of the body made it clear that it is still concerned about cryptocurrencies, even though days before, he had stated the banks did not obstruct the crypto trade. India's Supreme Court overturned a 2018 RBI ban in March 2020 that prohibited banks from providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges.




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