In the regulatory space, Singapore and France both the countries are making a positive and progressive move towards bitcoin, crypto, and blockchain.
Singapore central bank MAS focusing on the tokens characteristics
The central bank of the Singapore, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently shared that no tokens as of yet approved are those that represent securities. At the Consensus Singapore 2018 Conference, Damien Pang, the head of the MAS’s technology infrastructure office for fintech and innovation expressed that no existing crypto should be subject to securities legislation.
“The MAS does not intend to regulate utility tokens that are used to access certain services. But a payments service bill is expected to be enacted by the end of this year to apply to payment tokens, which have storage and payment values.”
He talked about and explained 2017 published “A Guide to Digital Token Offerings” where tokens are categorized into utility tokens, payments tokens, and securities tokens.
Pang also emphasized that every jurisdiction has its own set of criteria to decide the nature of the token. He further said should the features of a payment or utility token resemble that of securities, it would be regulated as such by the MAS.
However, the aim is not to regulate the technology, “but (its) purpose” as he shared:
“The MAS takes a close look at the characteristics of the tokens, in the past, at the present and in the future, instead of just the technology built on.”
As for clearing stating out the names of tokens as in Bitcoin or Ethereum and if they are securities, Pang has shared that it doesn’t offer an encouraging environment for innovation.
“The moment you start naming names, people take it very literally – these are and those are not. But in fact, there are more than 1000 tokens. Bear in mind, we provide clear guidelines to categorize them.”
France takes a step towards becoming an ICO hub
French financial market regulators AMF proposed an ICO framework that, drafted in May, has been now accepted in the parliament. This has been confirmed by Bruno Le Maire, France’s Minister of Economy and Finance.
The new legal framework involves voluntary “ICO visa” system where those who are seeking to launch an ICO can apply for a visa by submitting their whitepaper to French authorities for review. In order to be granted a visa, the whitepaper needs to have a project description and roadmap, token rights, the legislative court in case of disputes, and the use and economic purpose of funds.
The visa will further make access to banks and accounting firms easier. Also, it excludes foreign corporations to attract projects into the nation.
Just at the beginning of this year, a crypto regulatory task force that has been established that is driving the positive change into the country towards crypto. In April itself, the taxation on cryptocurrencies has been lowered to 19 percent. Now, with new legal ICO framework approval, authorities are showing an encouraging attitude towards bitcoin, cryptos, and blockchain.
Singapore and France both are creating a growth-inducing environment for the crypto world. It’s time that other countries also take a positive and progressive approach towards this nascent industry.