Recently, ConsenSys published the Singapore Blockchain Ecosystem 2019 report, a report which addressed the nation’s blockchain landscape. The report was co-authored by Temasek, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and Infocomm Media Development Authority.
It stated that Singapore’s blockchain market spending has the potential to reach $1.9 – $2.6 billion by 2030, and that blockchain has the potential to improve the process of capital raising and investing. Additionally, the report said that 56% of the world’s top 50 universities offer at least one course on cryptocurrency or blockchain, representing a 23% increase from last year. The National University of Singapore was ranked 10th in terms of the number of cryptocurrency-related courses, it said.
“While other countries had raced to ban digital tokens, MAS issued its “Guide to Digital Token Offerings” to provide general guidance on the application of the securities laws in relation to offers or issues of digital tokens in Singapore.”
The guide in question contains case studies of various scenarios in which companies offer tokens, and how securities laws apply in each case. Consequently, the guide states that offers of digital tokens which constitute a product regulated under the Securities and Futures Act are subject to the same regulations as offers of securities made through traditional means.
“The combination of tokenised assets and a fluid, cross-border platform also creates the foundation for open marketplaces.”
The report also stated that the current retail payments infrastructure in Singapore is highly evolved, and that blockchain-related payment innovations must offer significant improvements over existing systems already commonly used in the country to acquire widespread adoption. It also said that blockchain, if implemented correctly, can bring about additional efficiency, security, and compliance by providing real-time verification of transactions without a trusted third-party.
The report also contained information pertaining to tax reforms which will begin to take effect from January 1, 2020,
1. The use of digital payment tokens as payment for goods or services will not give rise to a supply of those tokens.
2. The exchange of digital payment tokens for fiat currency or other digital payment tokens will be exempt from GST.