SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has advised consumers and businesses to be cautious with transactions involving Bitcoins, as virtual currencies are unregulated and consumers may not have legal recourse should there be problems.
The warning comes as Bitcoin changing machines make their debut in Singapore. MAS referred to them as vending machines as they accept cash for Bitcoins but do not allow people to convert their Bitcoins into cash.
“Virtual currencies, including Bitcoin, are not legal tender and are not recognised by MAS as an official medium of exchange or as a form of securities. MAS does not regulate Bitcoin, including its purchase, sale or use, whether online or via other means such as physical vending machines,” the central bank said in a statement.
MAS also warned that the value of a virtual currency such as Bitcoin can fluctuate greatly within a short period of time.
“Consumers and businesses may suffer monetary losses as a result of the volatile prices. They may also be unable to obtain a refund of their monies should such a scheme cease to operate, and may have no legal recourse as Bitcoin is not issued by any identifiable organisation,” MAS said.
MAS added it closely monitors international developments, and it will consider the need to introduce regulations to address risks associated with virtual currencies such as money-laundering and terrorist-financing.
Source: Channel News Asia