Skip to main content

Crypto ATMs Shutdown in Singapore on 'Impulse' Trading

Cryptocurrency adoption suffers a setback as Singapore officials shut down crypto ATMs.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

In what appears to be a body blow to mainstream adoption, financial regulators in Singapore took cryptocurrency ATMS offline over concerns about trading digital tokens "on impulse."

In announcing the new guidelines, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said that some digital payment token, or cryptocurrency, providers "have been actively promoting their services through online and physical advertisements or through the provision of physical automated teller machines (ATM) in public areas."

'Understanding the Attendant Risks'

"This could encourage consumers to trade DPTs on impulse, without fully understanding the attendant risks," the authority said, adding that DPT is "Digital Payment Token (DPT or more commonly known as cryptocurrency)."

The move is part of a wider effort to crackdown on advertising cryptocurrency to the public.

Authorities said companies should not engage in marketing or advertising cryptocurrency services in public areas in Singapore or through the engagement of third parties, such as social media influencers, to promote crypto services to the general public.

Loo Siew Yee, the MAS assistant managing director, said in a statement that while the authority strongly encourages the development of blockchain technology, "the trading of cryptocurrencies is highly risky and not suitable for the general public."

The government's action may come as a shock to some in the digital currency world.

In December fintech start-up Coincub ranked Singapore as the world's most crypto-friendly economy, citing among other things, its low tax on crypto, clear guidance and regulation and high requirement disclosure for crypto firms and individuals. 

Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

Daenerys & Co, the biggest crypto ATM operator in Singapore in terms of its footprint, said it was surprised by the government's actions and had shut down all of its crypto ATMs.

Governments Taking a Hard Look at Crypto Advertising

"To comply with the sudden announcement, we have ceased to offer buy or sell services via our five ATMs while seeking further clarification from the MAS," Daenerys said in a statement to Reuters. 

Another company, Bitcoin Exchange, said on its website that due to the government's actions, "we regret to inform you that we have to shut down our public bitcoin machine with immediate effect."

More than 100 firms  have applied to the MAS for a license to offer DPT services.

Other governments are taking a harder look at cryptocurrency advertising. 

Britain said it planned to crack down on misleading advertisements for cryptoassets.

Spain also announced new rules for how social-media influencers and others can advertise cryptocurrency assets.

In an apparent first for the European Union, Spain’s national securities market commission has been given the power to regulate crypto advertising.