Singapore Upholds Ban on Spot Bitcoin ETFs for Retail Investors

January 22, 2024

By Sharan Kaur Phillora

Despite the growing market interest following the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) clearance of Spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Singapore’s Monetary Authority (MAS) maintains its stance against allowing these products for retail investors. The MAS has prohibited the listing of Spot Bitcoin ETFs in Singapore, citing the extreme volatility and speculative nature of cryptocurrency trading as major concerns.

Here’s what we know:

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has confirmed its ban on listing Spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for retail investors, despite the recent approval of these funds in the United States. The MAS’s decision is driven by concerns over the high volatility and speculative nature of cryptocurrency trading. Retail investors in Singapore are thus prohibited from directly investing in Spot Bitcoin ETFs within the country.

This regulatory stance comes as a response to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s clearance of Spot Bitcoin ETFs, which has generated significant market interest. However, the MAS’s ban reflects a cautious approach towards the unpredictable nature of cryptocurrencies. The authority emphasizes that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are not suitable assets for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) accessible to Singapore’s retail investors.

Singaporean retail investors can still indirectly access Spot Bitcoin ETFs listed in other countries. However, these investments are subject to the regulations under the Securities and Futures Act, which limits the types of assets retail investors can engage in, excluding digital payment tokens such as Bitcoin.

The MAS has issued a warning to those considering investing in Bitcoin ETFs in foreign markets, advising them to exercise caution and be aware of the risks involved. This includes understanding the additional challenges associated with trading in overseas markets.

Furthermore, in line with Singapore’s stance, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority is considering similar strict regulations on cryptocurrencies to protect investors and discourage speculative retail trading.

About the author

Sharan Kaur Phillora’s thirst for knowledge has led her to study many different subjects, including NFTs and Blockchain technology – two emerging technologies that will change how we interact with each other in the future. When she isn’t exploring a new idea or concept, she enjoys reading literary masterpieces.

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