Singapore raises risk level for digital payment token providers in counter-terrorism update

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) elevated the risk level of Digital Payment Token (DPT) service providers in its latest Counter-Terrorism regulation update.

On July 1, the MAS raised the risk level of DPTs to medium-high from medium-low as part of its review of the Asian country’s Terrorism Financing National Risk Assessment (NRA) and National Strategy for Countering the Financing of Terrorism.

Furthermore, the MAS also identified “cross-border online payments” and “cross-border fast payment systems” as potential new channels for terrorist funding activities.

It cited the evolving nature of terrorism financing as the reason for the updated assessment and strategy. The watchdog aims to prevent terrorists from exploiting Singapore’s status as an international financial, economic, and transport hub.

The regulator emphasized the need for vigilance, stating:

“Terrorist actors may exploit Singapore’s economic openness as an international financial, business, and transport hub for terrorist funding purposes. There is therefore a need for constant vigilance. Furthermore, as the global terrorism landscape evolves, Singapore’s terrorist funding risks will evolve too, hence this refreshed assessment and strategy.”

Singapore’s largest bank to custody Paxos stablecoin

In a parallel development, Singapore’s largest bank, DBS Group, will custody stablecoin assets issued by Paxos Digital Singapore Pte. Ltd, the MAS-licensed subsidiary of Paxos. The lender is decidedly pro-crypto and silently became one of the largest holders of Ethereum.

Paxos chose DBS as the primary banking partner for cash management and stablecoin custody. Evy Theunis, head of digital assets at DBS, explained that the banking giant will help stablecoin issuers meet the robust standards regulators and customers expect. He said:

“Having examined all relevant aspects that come with managing reserve assets, stablecoin issuers will find that our solutions will help them meet the robust standards regulators and customers expect from them.”

Over the past year, Singapore has sought to leverage blockchain technology to enhance its status as a global financial hub. Consequently, the country is known for its pro-crypto stance and high adoption rate.

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