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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is considering the introduction of additional consumer protection safeguards on cryptocurrencies, the country’s Minister in charge of MAS Tharman Shanmugaratnam has said.

Shanmugaratnam, responding to a written query from Murali Pillai, a Member of Parliament, said the additional safeguards for consumers include placing limits on retail participation, and rules on the use of leverage when transacting in cryptocurrencies.

In January this year, the MAS ceased marketing and advertising crypto services in public areas and restricted trivializing crypto trading that could hurt traders and investors.

Additionally, all entities dealing in cryptos are bound to adhere to the MAS’s rules, including removing crypto ATMs from public places and taking down advertisements from public transport venues.

“Given the borderless nature of cryptocurrency markets, however, there is a need for regulatory coordination and cooperation globally. These issues are being discussed at various international standard-setting bodies where MAS actively participates," the minister said and added, “cryptocurrencies are highly risky and are not suitable for the retail public. People can lose most of the money they have invested, or more if they borrow to purchase cryptocurrencies."

Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the MAS had recently termed cryptos an investment in a prospective future and that not getting into the game may leave Singapore behind.

“With crypto-based activities, it is basically an investment in a prospective future, the shape of which is not clear at this point. Not getting into the game might leave Singapore behind but now, the country has a head start and better understands its benefits as well as its potential risks," he had said.

Menon had also asserted that considering Singapore’s reputation as a global wealth hub, the country had to bolster its safeguards to combat the risks related to illicit financial flows.

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