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How EQONEX ensures compliance in a shifting global regulatory landscape

June 17, 2020

One of the most important values that underpins the EQONEX exchange is demonstrating adherence to robust regulatory standards. We have set our sights on becoming the bridge between traditional finance and the existing virtual asset community, and as such we felt it was crucial to align our business to a jurisdiction that had both innovative and trustworthy legislation for virtual currency trading.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), known for its forward-thinking policies, recently passed the Payment Services Act, which provides a legal framework under which virtual asset solutions can operate safely, without limiting its capabilities.

The Payment Services Act provides in-depth regulation for exchanges and FinTech specific ventures. Ong Ye Kung, Singapore’s Minister for Education recently said: “The MAS has recognized that technology, in particular FinTech, or Financial Technology, is transforming the world of payments, while new payment methods also give rise to new risks. It therefore reviewed its regulatory framework applicable to payments systems and payment service providers and proposed a new regulatory framework.” Anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financial controls are all placed on payment services entities as part of the requirements to receive a permit.

This new regulation includes digital assets in their definition in order to apply traditional finance security while not constraining the technology. EQUOS Chief Compliance Officer Malcom Wright, has extensive experience in both FinTech and regulation. He is currently Advisory Council Chair and also co-lead of the AML Working Group at Global Digital Finance, an industry association engaging with regulatory bodies globally, and is an Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute’s Centre for Financial Crime Studies in London. Malcolm and the EQUOS legal and compliance team researched various jurisdictions and concluded that Singapore, although conservative compared to many regulatory regimes, had the vision and security combination that best suited EQUOS’s long term goals. While their processes are lengthier, their policies have been written to actively include FinTech and help it flourish without constraining innovation.

In May, the team behind EQUOS filed an application for a Major Payment Institution license to the MAS, in line with Singapore’s progressive digital asset regulation, the Payment Services Act. EQUOS, a Diginex Group brand, already operates in Singapore under a temporary exemption from licensing under the Act.

As EQUOS matures, the team will continue to explore multijurisdictional solutions in order to find the most-suited solutions for clients across the globe.

We believe that in creating EQUOS, we have built a platform that appeals to both traditional finance and the crypto community, and by having proper governance, all investors can feel safe trading on our platform while ensuring its longevity. By launching in Singapore, we hope to continue to bridge the gap between both sides of the community and create value and equity for all.

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