Singapore Puts NFT Regulation on Hold

Monetary Authority of Singapore, COSMIC, data sharing platform, money laundering

Singapore’s central bank said it will not regulate the booming non-fungible token (NFT) market.

The decision by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) comes as the NFT sector saw $25 billion in sales last year, up from $95 million in sales in 2020.

While the dramatic rise has captured the attention of regulators who want to monitor the burgeoning industry, Singapore will not be among them.

MAS Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has said that the central bank and lawmakers will stay on the sidelines for now.

“The MAS does not and cannot possibly regulate all things or products that people choose to invest their money in,” he told Fintech News Singapore.

Implementing regulations would involve considering the risks and rights of NFT owners in an industry that is still in its infancy, he added.

Singapore’s decision is in contrast with that of the White House; U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to issue an executive order on crypto assets as soon as this week.

See also: Biden’s Executive Order May Trigger Crypto Regulatory Spree

Biden’s order reportedly will direct government agencies to study cryptocurrency and central bank digital currency to design a comprehensive strategy. Some of the agencies that will likely be asked to prepare a report include the Departments of Treasury, State, Justice and Homeland Security.

While stakeholders in the crypto industry are suggesting that new U.S. regulations are required to provide legal certainty for companies, Ashley Ebersole, partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, told PMYNTS that he thinks the Commodities Futures Trade Commission is open to taking on a broader role on crypto regulation.

Read more: New Crypto Regulation May Be Useful, but Not Indispensable

But on the topic of the necessity of new regulations, Ebersole defended that the tests available to regulate securities, namely the Howey test and other court cases, could provide sufficient guidance to know if a crypto asset is a security or not.