Singapore and Hong Kong Approval in Licensing Crypto Firms

Singapore – Since many financial regulators worldwide are debating about cryptocurrency regulation, Hong Kong and Singapore have recently started consulting the public about introducing a licensing regime for virtual asset services providers. 

Although cryptocurrency exchange and trading are currently legal in Singapore, the city-state still needs to clarify its regulation towards digital assets. At the time of writing, Singapore‘s authority considers Bitcoins as “goods” and applies Good and Services Tax (Value Added Tax). The city-state takes a relatively soft approach towards digital asset exchange and only apply existing legal frameworks where possible. 

However, many critics said that the government should ensure that these virtual currencies will not be used for terrorist financing, money laundering, and other financial crimes. Singapore should continue to keep a close eye on cryptocurrencies. 

Furthermore, last October 2020, news broke out after a cryptocurrency said that the next Amazon or Apple company would be based in Asia and use blockchain technology. Since Hong Kong and Singapore are two of the most successful Asian countries, it is clear that both of these nations will be required to establish a solid regulation towards cryptocurrencies. 

CoinFlip CEO Bein Weiss, one of the world’s most successful Bitcoin ATM operator, claimed that most blockchain companies in the next years will choose Asia since the US still do not have regulatory clarity regarding the crypto industry. The United States is not the best place for crypto firms to grow and innovate. 

Compared to Asia, where crypto regulations are clearer and more solid, the US does not have well-defined rules to assure crypto firms’ future. The CoinFlip CEO specifically considered Singapore as the possible home to the world’s next prominent blockchain company.

Weiss believes that the US should start focusing on crypto regulatory clarity since the country is losing the blockchain battle to plenty of countries, especially in Asia. He also said that whoever wins the presidential election should be pro-crypto to win more youth votes for the next 15 to 20 years.

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