ICO in Singapore

Singapore’s position on ICO is that it does not put restriction on ICO if it is a bona fide business. In this regard, Singapore’s ICO regulatory authority, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, issued several guidelines and announced ICO-related regulations and procedures in Singapore. (You can see the Singapore’s government website for consumers.)

The SFA applies if the token issued in the ICO corresponds to the ‘financial market product’ of the SSFA (Singapore Securities and Futures Act (Cap. 289)). That is, if the token symbolizes equity or stock, or if the token symbolizes the debt, or if the token is the investment target of the collective investment organization, the SFA applies.

In addition, when it corresponds to the ‘financial market product’ stipulated in the SFA, the issuer of the token must submit the application to the MAS before the corresponding token is provided, and the registration process should be performed. Any person wishing to operate the exchange shall be approved or approved by the MAS.

MAS recently confirmed this position by action. On May 24, 2018, the MAS issued a warning to eight exchanges that tokens, which function as securities or futures, prohibit trading of unauthorized tokens. According to this measure, the exchanges should check the unauthorized coins or tokens and exclude them from the listing if necessary.

MAS took the same action not only with the exchange but also with ICO token publishers. If a token issued in the ICO process can be classified as a securities on the SFA by marking the company’s stake, etc., it is necessary to take measures to return all of the ICO investment money, even if it is classified as securities on the SFA, .

In sum, if a  token issued in the ICO process has the function of securities or futures to which the SFA applies, MAS must authorize it in advance, and ICO investment can be subject to restitution at any time if it is done without the authorization.

There are traditionally shares / stocks and debt/bonds in the way companies recruit funds. ICOs that are subject to the issuance of tokens as a new fund recruitment method are attracting attention, but many countries that are positive about ICO are not allowing them to penetrate traditional stock or bond areas.

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