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Singapore ready to launch wholesale CBDC, local exec says

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Singapore is ready to launch it’s own central bank digital currency, or CBDC, said Sopnendu Mohanty, chief FinTech officer at Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator, Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Speaking on the subject during an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, Mohanty pointed out that in Singapore there is not much demand for a retail CBDC, given that payment system infrastructure in the country already allow fast and cheap payments among individuals.

Instead, Singapore’s central bank is focused on the development of a wholesale CBDC, which will be used to facilitate settlements of securities and payments among financial institutions. 

“I don’t think we need to do any more experiments on wholesale CBDCs”, pointed out Mohanty. “Now we should start thinking about going into production”.

According to Mohanty, a severe but clear regulatory framework coupled with openness to innovation is what makes Singapore one of the most attractive places for cryptocurrency business in Southeast Asia. 

“Defining Singapore “crypto-friendly”, said Mohanty, “would be “highly misleading”.

In fact, he pointed out, the small city state has a very clear regulatory framework in place to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Singapore’s Central bank still believes that while business activity poses certain risks, the technology itself is neutral.

“Allowing crypto to be an experimental construct in Singapore is what we are looking at”, he explained.

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Regulation

PayPal CEO calls on crypto industry to work hand in hand with regulators

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There is no other way for the cryptocurrency industry to thrive without working hand in hand with regulators, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman believes.

On Dec. 2, Schulman joined the Web Summit online conference to discuss the cashless era of the global financial industry with Squawk Box host Andrew Ross Sorkin.

As part of the discussion, Schulman addressed issues related to cryptocurrency regulation, calling on the industry to closely collaborate with financial authorities to bring more utility to crypto. “There is only one way to approach this, and that is working hand in hand with regulators,” he argued.

Schulman went on to say that regulatory compliance is foundational for providing services in the crypto industry:

“Part of that foundational capabilities are regulatory compliance, full understanding of security, risk management, all of the financial controls, FinCEN controls, AML controls. Without that, you really have no way that you should be in this arena. […] You must have those.”

Schulman said that the company invested a “tremendous amount” in regulatory compliance, noting that PayPal became the first firm to get a conditional BitLicense from regulators in New York. “We’re doing this hand in hand with regulators, and it’s the only way to go about doing this,” Schulman argued.

“Strong regulatory oversight is extraordinarily important and I’ve got zero issue with that,” the exec said. Schulman stated that PayPal has strong relationships with regulators because it aims to prevent illicit practices like money laundering while providing some degree of financial health.

In October 2020, PayPal officially broke the news on the company’s plans to introduce the ability to buy, hold and sell a number of cryptos including Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) directly with the PayPal digital wallet. PayPal subsequently rolled out its crypto service in the United States, allowing clients to trade up to $20,000 per week.

Schulman has previously claimed that PayPal’s crypto services will eventually increase the utility of cryptocurrencies.