This is a case in point for all the regulators mulling over regulation of crypto space (and particularly for the regulators of our country). While Indian central bank is hell-bent on killing the crypto space, another central bank headed by an Indian-origin Director is planning to help out crypto startups that can’t get a bank account. And it’s not a central bank from the economy of any small country – it’s the Central Bank of Singapore!
That’s right. Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which serves the role of regulator for Singapore’s banking sector, has decided to help out cryptocurrency startups in getting bank accounts. This was revealed recently in an interview given to Bloomberg by none other than the Managing Director of MAS, Mr. Ravi Menon. Talking about their approach towards crypto startups Mr. Menon said that while Singapore will not be among the nations having the laxest regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies, it will certainly offer respite to those crypto startups that are having a hard time getting a bank account. He said:
“What we are trying to do is to bring the banks and cryptocurrency fintech startups together to see if there is some understanding they can reach.”
Mr. Menon agrees with the stance of RBI on the point that cryptocurrencies do not have the characteristics of currencies. However, he has a completely different stance when it comes to regulating them. He said that these “digital tokens”, which have their life largely inside the blockchain, do not require any sort of regulation. Speaking of Bitcoin, in particular, he said that Bitcoin doesn’t pose any risks that may require regulation. In fact, its free nature is necessary for technologies like distributed ledger, he added.
It turns out that this is also not the first time when Mr. Menon has said favorable things about cryptocurrencies while striking a cautious tone at the same time. Speaking about the abuse of cryptocurrencies last year he had said:
“Our approach is to look at the activity around the cryptocurrency and then make an assessment of what regulation would be suitable.”
We wish to have a central banker like him in place! But now when that is not the case, all we can do is pray for our regulators to come to their senses. For now, however, it doesn’t seem to be happening. Let’s see whether it happens after some time or not!