Singapore bans cryptocurrency ads and promotion to public claiming it's high-risk investment

Stock image of Bitcoin and US Dollars

Singapore is clamping down on cryptocurrency promotions. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has released new guidelines governing Digital Payment Tokens (DPT), commonly known as cryptocurrencies, which essentially prohibit their ads and marketing of services. The sovereign island city-state reportedly feels the virtual monies are a very high-risk investment or trading instrument.

Any service provider, company, agency, or large-scale middle-men dealing with cryptocurrencies, are not to advertise their services in Singapore. Service providers should not promote their offerings or services to the local population. The guidelines currently apply to companies such as banks and payment institutions that work with cryptocurrencies, but they would soon be applicable to anyone who transfers cryptocurrencies and offers wallet services.

The guidelines essentially prohibit advertisements about cryptocurrencies on public transport, websites, social media, broadcast, and print media. Promotional banners or pop-up ads pointing to digital tokens on third-party websites and even social media platforms are not allowed.

Interestingly, even ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) are off-limits for promotional purposes. Singapore is also barring social media influencers from promoting cryptocurrency services to the local public.

With such restrictions, cryptocurrency service providers now only have their own corporate websites, mobile apps, or official social media accounts where they can freely promote their services. If this is not restrictive enough, the Payment Services Act is expected to widen the scope of the ban. For the time being, only those buying or selling cryptocurrencies, as well as facilitating the exchange of digital payment tokens, come under the ambit of the law. In the near future, even cryptocurrency exchanges that do not hold any inventory will have to abide by the new law.

It is amply clear that Singapore’s administration views cryptocurrency as a very risky investment or monetary instrument. The regulator has previously and repeatedly cautioned about cryptocurrency trading, warning the local population about "sharp speculative swings" in valuations of cryptocurrencies.

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