The three kinds of crypto belongings and the way they’re regulated in Singapore


For most individuals, the primary introduction to blockchain know-how is thru cryptocurrencies.

Right now, blue chip cash similar to Bitcoin and Ethereum have grow to be family names. They’ve emerged as digital counterparts to fiat cash and are getting used for all the identical functions — to retailer worth, facilitate transactions, and measure value. 

That’s not all that crypto belongings can be utilized for although. Over the previous few years, new types of tokens have been created on the blockchain, every with their very own distinctive function.

Broadly, crypto belongings will be categorized into three fundamental classes. These embody the next:

1. Cryptocurrency

A cryptocurrency refers to the usual forex tied to any specific blockchain. For instance, ether (ETH) is the native cryptocurrency used on the Ethereum blockchain. When a person makes transactions on Ethereum, any ensuing charges have to be paid in ether.

A cryptocurrency doesn’t maintain any utility past that of fiat cash. It derives its attraction from being decentralised, on account of which, it’s comparatively nameless. Customers are in a position to commerce in cryptocurrency with out an exterior authority actively monitoring their transactions.

2. Utility token

Utility tokens are utilized by the purposes which exist on an current blockchain. Their major function is to supply entry to a product or a service. They will play totally different roles relying on the character of their dad or mum utility.

Video games similar to Axie Infinity and Gods Unchained — that are hosted on Ethereum — function their very own utility tokens. These tokens grant holders voting rights throughout the video games’ respective ecosystems. They will also be used to buy in-game objects.

Though video games have lengthy had digital currencies, the distinction right here is that the tokens will be exchanged for actual cash as properly.

Axie Infinity play to earn
Customers are in a position to earn Axie tokens whereas enjoying Axie Infinity / Screenshot of Axie Infinity homepage

Ethereum additionally hosts finance and know-how apps which use their very own utility tokens. For instance, Uniswap is an app designed to facilitate change between the totally different tokens hosted on Ethereum. Customers who maintain Uniswap’s UNI token are in a position to submit and vote on proposals for the app’s improvement.  

3. Safety token

Safety tokens symbolize an funding in an underlying asset. They’re the digital equal of merchandise similar to shares, bonds, and mutual funds. 

Whereas utility tokens can be used to supply holders voting rights and profit-sharing, they don’t grant the holder possession of the issuing firm. Alternatively, safety tokens are designed for that very function. 

The primary ever safety token was launched by a VC agency known as Blockchain Capital. The corporate raised US$10 million by means of its safety token BCAP, which was issued at a fee of US$1 per token.

Blockchain capital portfolio
The composition of Blockchain Capital’s portfolio as of March 2021 / Picture Credit:

These funds have been used to put money into the blockchain business. Presently, Blockchain Capital holds fairness in corporations similar to Coinbase and Opensea. It additionally holds crypto belongings together with Bitcoin and Ethereum. 

The BCAP token is now value over US$16. Dividends are paid out to the holders of BCAP as they’d be to shareholders of a conventional public firm.

How are these totally different crypto belongings regulated in Singapore?

Since they serve distinctive functions, totally different classes of crypto belongings have to be monitored below applicable rules. 

Cryptocurrencies and utility tokens get away with being largely unregulated as they aren’t recognised as authorized tender. Nonetheless, the Financial Authority of Singapore (MAS) typically points notices warning folks concerning the dangers of treating these belongings as funding merchandise. 

Exchanges facilitating the acquisition and sale of those belongings want solely adjust to anti-money-laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist-financing (CTF) rules. These have been specified by the Fee Providers Act of 2019. They require the collection of customer data and applicable KYC checks for account holders.

Binance banned in Singapore
Binance was compelled to withdraw from Singapore late in 2021, after failure to adjust to AML and CTF rules / Picture Credit: Bitcoin Information

Safety tokens, alternatively, are regulated below the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) as properly. Since these tokens are created to be funding merchandise, they’re held to the same standards as conventional capital market choices. 

Any firm or change which plans to supply safety tokens in Singapore should get hold of a licence for it as per the SFA. They need to additionally difficulty a prospectus together with their safety token providing, to tell potential buyers about advantages and dangers. 

Will Singapore introduce extra crypto rules?

With the crypto house always growing, the necessity for extra rules is likely to be inevitable. As alluded to earlier, it’s attainable for corporations to difficulty securities below the guise of utility tokens immediately.

This may permit them to bypass the requirements laid down within the SFA. Such loopholes come up as a result of the character of crypto belongings remains to be fluid and evolving. As such, extra clear-cut boundaries are certain to emerge in due time.

Featured Picture Credit score: Coinbase


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