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Singapore is Preparing For a Tokenized World by 2030, Says MAS Director

Singapore is carefully positioning itself as an international hub for cryptocurrency adoption and industry. The country’s Monetary Authority Managing Director recently said the small state is even preparing for a “tokenized world” by 2030. While he agrees that the crypto space requires regulations, he hopes it will help the technology flourish.

Crypto Is The Future

MAS director Ravi Menon showed his enthusiasm for the space in an interview with Bloomberg yesterday. When asked for comment on Bitcoin’s record high prices, the director said that his interest in crypto is much “broader”. There is much promise in crypto tokens, but it’s still too early to forecast their future. Crypto could very well lead to economic prosperity, or risk and turmoil, or perhaps nowhere at all, in his estimation.

Overall, Menon acknowledges the “lower cost, higher efficiency,” and greater “market participation” that crypto and decentralized finance can bring. On that note, he says that Singapore is trying to understand cryptocurrency, blockchains, and smart contracts before their international competitors.

“If 2030 is going to be a tokenized economy – or a world – we want to make sure we are well-positioned,” said the director.

Ravi Menon: Singapore 'Ready to Act' Against Inflation Risks - Bloomberg
Ravi Menon. Source: Bloomberg

Criticisms of Crypto

Granted, the director also recognizes some risks brought about by crypto, in his view. He names “money laundering” and “terrorist financing” as “obvious” nefarious use cases for cryptocurrencies. Christine Lagarde – president of the European Central Bank – has also shown concern about “funny business” in crypto. However, data suggests that the use of digital assets for illicit finance is largely overstated.

Furthermore, due to the volatility of cryptocurrencies, Menon stresses that they are “not for the retail investor.” In fact, institutional involvement in crypto is a relatively recent phenomenon, which may help stabilize Bitcoin’s price. In previous years, the market was still mostly retail-driven, likely contributing to its price fluctuations.

Finally, the director is no Bitcoin maximalist. When asked about making Bitcoin or Ether legal tender, he asserted that neither asset constituted “money.” Rather, he sees cryptocurrency’s sole purpose as to “facilitate meaningful economic transactions.”

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Interestingly, this is the reverse position of what many institutions and businesses are adopting lately. From Michael Saylor to Mark Cuban, most enthusiasts recognize Bitcoin as “digital gold.” While the asset has a significant value, Both Saylor and Cuban maintain that its use for transactions will be finite.

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