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Digital currency association formed to boost uptake in Singapore

The Association of Crypto-Currency Enterprises and Start-ups, Singapore (ACCESS) aims to have "open and clear dialogue" with stakeholders such as regulators to build an ecosystem encouraging responsible use of digital currency technologies.

SINGAPORE: A private sector initiative to boost local uptake of digital currencies such as Bitcoins has resulted in the formation of the Association of Crypto-Currency Enterprises and Start-ups, SIngapore (ACCESS).

In a statement released on Monday (June 16), ACCESS said it is a fully registered society with the Registry of Societies under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) representing various businesses within Singapore's Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency ecosystem. These businesses include exchanges, merchant transaction services, vending machines, and miners, it stated.

Some of its members include Tembusu Terminals, which unveiled its locally designed and made Bitcoin ATM in February this year, itBit and CoinPip, the statement noted.

One of its main objectives is to promote Singapore as the "premier location" for the development of businesses and services built upon cryptocurrency platforms and technologies. The development will need "a regulatory framework that balances the necessity for innovation with the duty to protect the interests of consumer end-users and commercial entities engaging with this industry", it said.

ACCESS Chairman Anson Zeall said: "ACCESS aims to provide an open and clear dialogue between Singapore crytocurrency businesses and the wider public, including regulators. With the forming of our association, we will help facilitate an ecosystem where Singapore can be a hub for cryptocurrencies businesses to grow and create jobs related to this new and growing technology."

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) had in March announced it would regulate virtual currency intermediaries in Singapore to address potential money laundering and terrorist financing risks.   

"Singapore, like most jurisdictions, does not regulate virtual currencies per se, as these are not considered as securities or legal tender. MAS’ regulation of virtual currency intermediaries pertains specifically to the money laundering and terrorist financing risks they pose. It does not extend to the safety and soundness of virtual currency intermediaries nor the proper functioning of virtual currency transaction," MAS said then.

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