In recent regulatory news, an official representing the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has stated that no crypto tokens that meet the regulator’s definition of a security offering have been approved; the chief accountant of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has emphasized the “fundamental” bookkeeping responsibilities of firms operating with cryptocurrencies; and the head of Abu Dhabi’s financial regulator has called on international legislators to “properly regulate” the cryptocurrency industries in order to facilitate greater market participation from mainstream institutions.
MAS Yet to Approve Securities Tokens
Damien Pang, the head of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s technology infrastructure office for fintech and innovation, recently stated that no cryptocurrency tokens deemed to comprise securities have been approved.
Speaking at the Consensus Singapore 2018 conference, Mr. Pang emphasized that the MAS currently identifies tokens as fitting into one of three categories – utility tokens, payments tokens, and securities tokens.
“The MAS does not intend to regulate utility tokens that are used to access certain services. But a payments service bill is expected to be enacted by the end of this year to apply to payment tokens, which have storage and payment values,” Mr. Pang stated.
Mr. Pang added that should the characteristics of a utility or payment token come to resemble the features of a securities offering, the MAS will accordingly regulate said tokens as such.
SEC Chief Accountant Emphasizes Bookkeeping Responsibilities of Firms Operating With Crypto
The chief accountant of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Wesley Bricker, recently delivered a speech to the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) National Conference on Banks & Savings Institutions, in which Mr. Bricker emphasized the “fundamental” bookkeeping responsibilities for firms operating with virtual currencies.
“Distributed ledger technology and digital assets, despite their exciting possibilities, do not alter this fundamental responsibility,” the SEC chief accountant stated.
Mr. Bricker also urged the accounting industry to stay diligent with regards to emerging technological innovations such as cryptocurrency, emphasizing the role of accounting professionals as a gatekeeper for “issuer compliance related to financial reporting.”
Mr. Bricker stated: “It follows that changes in technology need not work against investors and the public capital markets. Moreover, companies must continue to maintain appropriate books and records—regardless of whether distributed ledger technology (such as blockchain) smart contracts, and other technology-driven applications are (or are not) used.”
Head of Abu Dhabi Financial Regulator on Institutional Investment Into Crypto
In a recent interview, Richard Teng the chief executive of the Abu Dhabi Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), called for greater international consensus regarding crypto regulation, arguing that such is necessary in order to entice mainstream institutions to invest in the sector.
“This space needs to be properly regulated, otherwise there is the risk of financial crime. Every time a coin gets stolen or lost, it affects the confidence in this asset class,” Mr. Teng stated. “Once you bring [institutions] into the market, you will see the prices become much less volatile, but institutions only come in if you help them address the risks.”
UPDATED 06:00, 09/23/18: Edited stance attributed to Damien Pang to reflect updates made to reference material.
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