Inside money, markets, and Big Tech

This article was published on October 11, 2018


Singapore’s financial regulator wants its banks and blockchains to be friends

Why can't everyone just get along?

Singapore’s financial regulator wants its banks and blockchains to be friends
Matthew Beedham
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Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

Singapore’s financial regulator has revealed it will help local cryptocurrency firms set up traditional bank accounts, to help boost the country’s fintech economy.

“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,” Monetary Authority of Singapore managing director Ravi Menon told Bloomberg.

Before you go moving to Singapore to set up your new blockchain-based firm in search of crypto-riches, Menon also made it clear that this help will only be for local Singaporean businesses.

“We should not be trying to create an extremely lax regulatory environment in order to attract that kind of business,” he added.

It appears that crypto-based Singaporean businesses have been struggling to grow as banks continue to deny or close their accounts.

Specific details of how the Singaporean regulator will mediate relationships between banks and startups have not yet been disclosed.

Singapore isn’t the first country to step in to nurture relationships between banks and cryptocurrency startups.

Last month, the Swiss government issued guidelines to its 250-plus banks to help nurture their relationships with blockchain startups: many blockchain companies were leaving the country after having bank accounts revoked or closed.

Given that blockchain was created to decrease society’s reliance on banks, It’s somewhat ironic that blockchain-based businesses still rely so heavily on them to do business.

But maybe one day we will finally see blockchain-based companies that can be entirely self-sufficient; ones that won’t rely on traditional banking to survive.

Craving more blockchain? Join us at Hard Fork Decentralized, our three-day event in London. We’ll discuss the industry’s future together. You can now register on our website!