The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is considering introducing further safeguards on access to crypto among the general public, a senior government minister said.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam, minister in charge of MAS, said in parliament on Monday that the central bank may “place limits on retail participation” and introduce rules on the use of leverage in crypto transactions.

Shanmugaratnam had been asked by member of parliament Murali Pillai whether the MAS intended to implement further restrictions on crypto trading platforms.

“Since 2017, MAS has consistently warned that cryptocurrencies are not suitable investments for the retail public,” Shanmugaratnam said. “Most cryptocurrencies are subject to sharp speculative price swings. Recent events have vividly demonstrated the risks, with prices of several cryptocurrencies falling drastically.”

In January this year, MAS introduced guidelines limiting how crypto firms could advertise to the public, preventing them from marketing their services in public areas or media that address the public, such as newspapers, broadcast, magazines or social media platforms.

The central bank’s chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty recently said MAS plans to be “brutal and relentingly hard” on “bad behavior” in the crypto industry. In an interview with the Financial Times, Mohanty said Singapore had enforced a “painfully slow … extremely draconian due diligence process” for licensing crypto firms in order to protect the wider economy.


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