Singapore bars crypto service providers from advertising in public spaces

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a new set of guidelines for digital payment token (DPT) providers, barring them from marketing their services in public areas.

The guidelines, which were issued on Jan. 17, also warned the general public of the high risks associated with the crypto market in addition to prohibiting DPT companies from advertising their services in public places such as public transportation, public transportation venues, public websites, social media platforms and broadcast and print media. 

The new set of guidelines will be applicable for all the registered crypto services providers as well as those who are in the transitional period:

“MAS stresses that DPT service providers should conduct themselves with the understanding that trading of DPTs is not suitable for the general public. These Guidelines set out MAS’ expectation that DPT service providers should not promote their DPT services to the general public in Singapore.“

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The new set of guidelines also prohibits crypto service providers from opening physical automated teller machines (ATMs) in public areas. However, DPT companies can still promote or advertise their services on their native websites or mobile applications. The decision from the MAS comes amid the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies along with an increase in the number of physical crypto advertisements in the country.

Crypto advertisements have become a growing issue for regulators around the globe, especially given there are very limited regulations around the crypto market. Regulators believe crypto advertisers often try to hide or not disclose the inherent risks associated with crypto trading while advertising high profits. Apart from Singapore, advertisement watchdogs in the United Kingdom, as well as the Indian high court, have also cracked down on crypto advertisements in the recent past.