Crypto haven countries #2: Singapore
According to Coincub, at the end of 2021 Singapore was the best country for companies, entrepreneurs and investors operating in the Cryptocurrency sector thanks to a booming crypto economy, positive legislation and the world’s second highest percentage of crypto-owning population. In Singapore the Cryptocurrency sector is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Bitcoin is not yet a legal tender and exchanges must be registered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore in order to operate. Singapore’s tax authority treats Bitcoins as “goods” and so applies Goods and Services Tax (Singapore’s version of Value Added Tax). Singapore offers firm but clear legislative guidance with a low tax on crypto earnings combined with a progressive attitude within the financial sector and lots of retail uptake. The most popular Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are accepted in a lot of outlets and retailers, as well as on gift cards. Despite this, the Monetary Authority of Singapore is very selective in issuing licenses to companies operating in the Cryptocurrency sector due to their high volatility and anti-money laundering regulations, in fact in mid-January 2022 the Authority issued very stringent guidelines. In November 2021 Fintonia Group launched Bitcoin funds in Singapore.
The two products (Fintonia Bitcoin Physical Fund and the Fintonia Secured Yield Fund) are run by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) regulated fund manager. The first one aims to provide investors with “quick, safe, and cost-efficient” access to Bitcoins while removing the challenge of buying from one of the thousands of exchanges and keeping the Bitcoin secure. The second one makes direct loans to holders of Bitcoins. Typical borrowers are traders, Bitcoin miners and companies which hold Bitcoin and would like cash without needing to sell their crypto assets.
According to a survey realized by Independent Reserve, 93% of Singaporeans are aware of at least one type of cryptocurrency and 43% of Singaporeans own some type of cryptocurrency. This high percentage would be given by an increased clarity of local regulation and taxation issues. Only 7% of respondents believed Bitcoin to be a scam.
According to CoinDesk, in the Best Universities for Blockchain 2022 ranking, Singapore has two of its universities in this year’s top 10 (National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University). “Singapore is punching way above its weight on the global stage,” said MIT researcher Reuben Youngblom. “It’s a fun commentary on what blockchain is capable of, being somewhat of an equalizer.”
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