The Singapore government has been cracking down on money laundering and terrorist financing activities in recent years, and its latest move is to target Russian banks and cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the city-state. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has imposed sanctions on six Russian banks – Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Vneshe conombank, Rosselkhozbank, and Alfa Bank – as well as two cryptocurrency exchanges, namely BTC-e and Livecoin.
This comes as no surprise, given Singapore’s strong stance against money laundering, and its commitment to protecting the integrity of its financial system. In a statement released on August 28th, the MAS said that the sanctions were imposed due to the banks’ and exchanges’ “failure to meet Singapore’s anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) requirements.”
The sanctions prohibit the affected entities from carrying out any activities in Singapore, including establishing new branches or representative offices. They also require them to cease all operations within six months, including freezing any assets and funds of any Designated Russian Bank.
This is a major blow to the Russian banks and exchanges operating in Singapore, as they will no longer be able to serve their Singapore-based customers. For cryptocurrency investors in Singapore, this means that they will no longer be able to buy or sell digital currencies on BTC-e and Livecoin.
But while this may seem like bad news for the crypto community, it could be quite the opposite! The Singapore government’s actions will force cryptocurrency exchanges to become more compliant with AML/CFT regulations. This in turn could pave the way for wider adoption of digital currencies in Singapore and beyond. So stay tuned for updates – this story is far from over!