Singapore, Dubai and the Philippines are launching new initiatives that could help shape the future of the crypto industry.
Singapore’s Payments Services Act took effect on Tuesday, allowing cryptocurrency companies to apply for operating licenses in the country for the first time. The new legislation provides companies with a regulatory framework that details how to handle activities ranging from trading of cryptocurrencies to digital payments.
The law grants the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) the power to regulate cryptocurrency payment services, merchant acquisition and domestic transactions. MAS will also mitigate cyber-security risks and put controls in place to combat the funding of terrorism and money laundering.
Nizam Ismail, founder and CEO of Ethikom Consultancy, tells Bloomberg that the new law offers regulatory clarity on “emerging and innovative” types of payments activities such as e-wallets and cryptocurrency exchanges.
Meanwhile, in Dubai, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) has announced that is working with CV VC and CV Labs to launch an initiative called Crypto Valley. In a press release, DMCC says,
“Crypto Valley will offer a variety of services including incubation for early-stage start-ups, co-working facilities, innovation services for corporate clients, blockchain and entrepreneurship training, education, events, mentoring and funding.”
The new venture is envisioned to be the largest ecosystem for blockchain, distributed ledger and cryptographic technologies in the world. It is created to “foster growth, collaboration, and integrity across the global blockchain economy.”
Meanwhile, in the Philippines, another Crypto Valley is emerging. The “Crypto Valley of Asia” is a project of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA). In a bid to attract more investors, CEZA plans to build an $80-million airport inside the economic zone. Secretary Raul Lambino, CEO and administrator of the CEZA explains,
“The construction of a new airport is an important facility in the establishment and realization of the so-called Crypto Valley of Asia concept that we have embarked.”
The CEZA chief executive is in talks with the Department of Transportation and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to discuss the licensing of the new airport. Lambino explains that investors want to get to the ecozone as quickly as possible and an airport facility is the most viable solution.
The Crypto Valley of Asia is an effort of the Philippine government to grow its fintech community and attract investments from international crypto and blockchain firms. As of late 2019, CEZA has licensed 40 companies to operate crypto exchanges in the country.
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