Monday, 17 March 2014

Singapore To Regulate Virtual Currencies

Singapore to regulate virtual currency exchanges
Singapore joins New York in forming regulations around digital currencies

Singapore plans to regulate virtual currency intermediaries, to combat potential risks from money-laundering or terrorism-related financing.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said the intermediaries, such as virtual currency exchanges, would need to verify their customers' identities.

They will also have to report any suspicious transactions.

The move makes Singapore the second country after the US to impose such measures.
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The Mt. Gox Effect: Singapore Regulates, Bitcoiners Rejoice



Singapore has been a favorite locale for bitcoin startups, thanks to what many have seen as its permissive stance toward virtual currencies.

So, now that the city-state has announced it will regulate digital currencies, what’s thebitcoin business community’s response? Mostly positive, it seems.

That may be a sign that, in the wake of the spectacular collapse of Tokyo-based exchange Mt. Gox, those in the industry trying to bring bitcoin into the mainstream are eager for regulations that establish clear ground rules  for virtual currencies. And Singapore’s announcement fits that bill.


MAS to address risks posed by virtual currencies  

Virtual currency intermediaries in Singapore will be regulated to address potential money laundering and terrorist financing risks.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore, MAS, says it will introduce regulations within a year requiring intermediaries that buy, sell or facilitate the exchange of virtual currencies for real currencies to verify the identities of their customers.

They will also be required to report suspicious transactions.

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Bitcoin's future - Hidden flipside

Bitcoin: the original

THE father has been found in time for his child’s funeral. That would appear to be the sorry state of affairs in the land of Bitcoin, a crypto-currency, if recent press coverage is to be believed. On March 6th Newsweek reported that it had tracked down Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s elusive creator. And on March 11th Mt Gox, the Japanese online exchange that had long dominated the trade in the currency before losing $490m of customers’ Bitcoins at today’s prices, once more filed for bankruptcy protection, this time in America.

In reality, things are rather different. Evidence is mounting that Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, whom Newsweek identified as Bitcoin’s father, is not the relevant Satoshi. More importantly, Bitcoin’s best days may still be ahead of it—if not as a fully fledged currency (see article), then as a platform for financial innovation. Much as the internet is a foundation for digital services, the technology behind Bitcoin could support a revolution in the way people own and pay for things. Geeks of all sorts are getting excited—including a growing number of venture capitalists, who know a new platform when they see one.

To understand the enthusiasm in this modern currency, it helps to think about a very old one. Until the early 20th century the people on Yap, an island in the Pacific Ocean, used large stone disks (pictured) as money for big expenses, such as a daughter’s dowry. Being very heavy, they were rarely moved when spent. Instead, they simply changed owners. Every transaction became part of an oral history of ownership, which allowed islanders to know the proprietor of each stone and made it difficult to spend the same stone twice

related:
After Mt Gox: Bitconned
Bitcoin’s woes: Mt Gone
Cryptocurrencies: The great hiccup
Virtual currency: I didn't come here for an argument
Bitcoin: Bitten
Bitcoin's collapse: China blues
Bitcoin: JPMorgan jumps in
Bitcoin

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Singapore backtracks, unveils new Bitcoin regulations

Singapore has backtracked on its previous stance not to impose restrictions on Bitcoin transactions, deciding to now regulate the crytocurrency in a bid to safeguard against terrorist funding and money laundering.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a statement Thursday it will "regulate virtual currency intermediaries" operating in the country due to the associated risks. These intermediaries include operators of Bitcoin exchanges as well as Bitcoin vending machines.

Just two weeks ago, Singapore-based trading platform, Bitcoin Exchange, launched the first two Bitcoin ATMs in the city-state, located in a bar in the CBD while the other is in an underground shopping area along Orchard Road.

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Singapore regulates Bitcoin exchanges in effort to prevent laundering




Singapore will now regulate all Bitcoin exchanges which operate within its borders to help prevent money laundering and terrorism funding

Today, the Central Bank of Singapore announced that it will now regulate all virtual currency intermediaries that operate and do business within the country's borders. The country says that this move will address concerns over money laundering, and terrorism funding. Starting today, Bitcoin Exchanges, virtual currency ATM's and vending machines that accept Bitcoins or other virtual currencies will have to verify the identity of its customers and report all transactions that seem suspicious in nature.

This aligns Singapore with US efforts to bring regulation to the wild west that is cryptocurrency, but this regulation does not mean that there will be any form of safeguards extended to investors like their are in traditional investments made with analog money. This means that while regulators wish to control the currency, they do not wish to protect its investors against collapse, theft, or loss due to natural disasters.

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Singapore to Regulate Bitcoin Operators to Curb Money Laundering


A Bitcoin dispensing machine stands at a shopping mall in Singapore

Singapore plans to regulate virtual-currency intermediaries including operators of Bitcoin exchanges and vending machines to address potential money-laundering and terrorist-financing risks.

The Monetary Authority of Singaporewill require intermediaries that facilitate the exchange of digital currencies to verify customers’ identities and report suspicious transactions to a unit of the city-state’s police, it said in a statement yesterday. No timeframe was given.

Digital currencies have come under scrutiny in markets from China to Russiaand the U.S., with some regulators calling for bans or limits on their use. Charlie Shrem, the founder of exchange company BitInstant, was charged in Manhattan two months ago with conspiring to launder $1 million of Bitcoins. He has denied the allegations.


Singapore's central bank to regulate virtual currency intermediaries

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the city-state's central bank, said Thursday that it will regulate intermediaries of virtual currency such as bitcoin in Singapore to address potential money laundering and terrorist financing risks.

These intermediaries include operators of Bitcoin exchanges and Bitcoin vending machines.

They will be required to verify the identities of their customers and report suspicious activities to the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office, requirements that are similar to those imposed on money changers and remittance businesses.

read more

MAS to regulate virtual currency intermediaries


New rules, likely to kick in within a year, largely hailed by local bitcoin exchanges

Singapore is set to be among the first in the world to regulate operators of bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

In a pre-emptive strike against money-laundering and terrorist-financing risks, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will introduce regulations for firms that "buy, sell or facilitate the exchange of virtual currencies for real currencies to verify the identities of their customers and report suspicious transactions to the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office".

"The requirements will be similar to those imposed on money changers and remittance businesses who undertake cash transactions," MAS said yesterday.


U.S. judge freezes assets of Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange boss


Mark Karpeles, chief executive of Mt. Gox, attends a news conference at the Tokyo District Court in Tokyo February 28, 2014

A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday temporarily froze the U.S. assets of Mt. Gox chief Mark Karpeles and allowed alleged victims of the shuttered bitcoin exchange to demand evidence of what they claim is a massive fraud.

The market for the digital currency was rocked last month when Mt. Gox, once the world's largest bitcoin exchange, ceased operations, and soon after filed for bankruptcy. Mt. Gox said it may have lost 750,000 bitcoins, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, in a hacking attack.

The freeze on Karpeles' assets, issued by Judge Gary Feinerman in Chicago, also applies to Mt. Gox's U.S. affiliate and the Japanese parent company, Tibanne, according to Christopher Dore, an Edelson attorney who represents U.S. customers of the bitcoin exchange.


American Bitcoin exchange CEO found dead in her Singapore home after suspected suicide at age 28

The American CEO of an exchange for the troubled bitcoin digital currency has been found dead after a suspected suicide at her home in Singapore

Wisconsin native, Autumn Radtke, 28, was discovered inside her apartment on February 28 and officials in the South East Asian city state are now waiting for toxicology test results to determine the exact cause of death.

Douglas Adams, the non-executive chairman of First Meta confirmed that his colleague had passed away in a statement which said the company was 'shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and CEO Autumn Radtke.'

The death of Radtke is the latest piece of bad news to hit the crisis-ridden bitcoin currency following the collapse of the Japanese-based Mt Gox exchange last week after $400m went missing and the closure of the Flexcoin bank yesterday in Canada after computer hackers robbed $600,000.


related:
Singapore to regulate Bitcoin operators to curb money laundering
Singapore's central bank to regulate virtual currency intermediaries
S'pore to regulate virtual currencies
Singapore regulates Bitcoin exchanges in effort to prevent laundering
MAS to regulate virtual currency intermediaries
The Mt. Gox Effect: Singapore Regulates, Bitcoiners Rejoice
Singapore to regulate Bitcoin operators
Singapore to regulate Bitcoin exchanges, vendors
Bitcoin CEO found dead in Singapore, suicide suspected
Singapore police investigate death of bitcoin trader
Singapore police probe 'unnatural' death of American CEO of bitcoin
CEO in apparent suicide was bitcoin fan, had other issues, too
Bitcoin firm CEO found dead after 'suicide'
Bitcoin firm CEO found dead in suspected suicide
American CEO of bitcoin exchange firm dies in suspected suicide
Bitcoin CEO found dead in Singapore, suicide suspected
CEO of Bitcoin firm commits suicide in Singapore
28 Year Old CEO Of Bitcoin Exchange Dead After Possible Suicide
Head of bitcoin exchange found dead in her flat
Mt. Gox kept exchange open despite knowledge of missing bitcoins 
Mt. Gox and its founder are being attacked by the law
MtGox Knew It Was Selling Phantom Bitcoin 2 Weeks Before