Singapore’s financial regulator and central bank has pledged to be “brutal and unrelentingly hard” on any “bad behavior” from the cryptocurrency industry.

The comments come from Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)’s chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty, explaining in an interview that “if somebody has done a bad thing, we are brutal and unrelentingly hard.”

He also hit back at the rhetoric of certain crypto market participants who have criticized the regulator for not being friendly enough to crypto, and instead questioned the legitimacy of the market, saying:

“We have been called out by many cryptocurrencies for not being friendly, my response has been: Friendly for what? Friendly for a real economy or friendly for some unreal economy?”

The fintech chief believes the world is “lost in private currency” and is the cause behind the wider market turmoil. Mohanty added the city-state enacted an “extremely draconian” and “painfully slow” due diligence process for licensing crypto businesses in response to the conservative stance the regulator has towards crypto.

Singapore introduced licensing for crypto firms in January 2020 and has been stringent on which companies are approved for a license. Cointelegraph reported in December 2022 that the MAS had knocked-back approvals for over 100 licenses from companies who had applied.

In January cryptocurrency providers were barred from advertising their services in public areas such as public transportation which extended to public websites as well as print, broadcast and social media.

MAS is extending…


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