One of the world’s biggest financial hubs, Singapore, will refrain from issuing any regulations for the burgeoning non-fungible token (NFT) market. Singapore’s central bank says that the NFT market is still nascent, and rather than regulating it in its current form, it will take a tech-neutral stance. NFT market saw a boom in 2021, with the sector seeing $25 billion in sales, up 26,000% from just $95 million in sales the year prior.
NFT market attracts regulators in different countries.
The NFT market has brought in the biggest brands, from companies like Nike and Coca-Cola to celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Lionel Messi. The rise has also attracted regulators who want to police the rapidly growing industry. Singapore, however, won’t be among them. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the Senior Minister in charge of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which is the country’s central bank, made it clear that NFTs will remain unregulated. The MAS “does not and cannot possibly regulate all things or products that people choose to invest their money in,” he stated, as reported by local outlet Fintech News Singapore.
Regulating the NFT industry would be an extensive task.
Tharman pointed out that the central bank, and the government, would not interfere with the industry for now and would take a tech-neutral stance. “For NFTs in particular, their perceived uniqueness, combined with speculative demand, has served to inflate prices. This potentially puts investors at risk of excessive losses should speculative fervor abate,” the minister said. Regulating the industry would be an extensive task that would involve weighing the legal risks and rights that NFT owners hold, the MAS minister added. In an industry that’s only just finding its feet, it has yet to become clear if existing regulations protect NFT owners.