Alleged unlicensed Bitcoin distributor becomes first Singaporean to be charged under new law

A 23-year-old Singaporean accused of unlicensed Bitcoin System trafficking (BTC) will become the first person to be charged under the state’s Payment Services Act.

On June 23, Singapore police said the woman, whose identity has not been revealed, had provided a digital token service without a license. She allegedly received at least 13 fraudulent fund transfers, totaling GDS 3,350 (~ USD 2,400), which she then used to buy Bitcoin.

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The money is believed to be the proceeds of victims of online scams. Police claim that the fraudulent transactions were made „on the instruction of an unknown person“, in exchange for a fee.

Singapore’s regulatory framework on crypto-currency
As reported, Singapore’s Payment Services Act came into force on 28 January 2020, and regulates payments in cryptosystems and business enterprises under some aspects of the State’s regulatory regime for traditional payment services.

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It introduced, among other measures, multiple registration and licensing requirements for industrial and commercial enterprises.

Unlike the United States, the Monetary Authority of Singapore does not distinguish between the various types of „payment“, „utility“ and „value“ tokens, placing them all within a broader category of digital payment tokens. This, according to some, makes it more difficult to circumvent certain regulatory requirements.

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In addition to online scams, Singapore is reported to have seen a significant increase in the prevalence of cryptojacking attempts during the first quarter of this year.