Singapore was once the most sought-after haven for crypto enthusiasts who reveled in cryptocurrency’s flexibility for making transactions. But all of a sudden, the country’s authorities have tightened their grip on the industry, thereby rendering the once lively digital assets space a shadow of its former self.
The government has clamped down on crypto service providers and placed restrictions on the use and transfer of digital assets, but this turned out to be a half-hearted measure as some businesses and individuals have continued to use digital assets despite the official restriction.
Singapore was once regarded as a crypto haven by many businesses before the ban after the push by Joo Bar and Maison Ikkoku, where many companies adopt crypto payments; the recent restriction placed on cryptocurrency has driven businesses away.
The Growing Crypto Customer Base
Singapore’s food industry appears to be the most resilient of all as far as the adoption of crypto payment is concerned, as many restaurants continue to accept payment in digital currencies disregarding the ban placed by the government.
A popular restaurant based in Kampong Glam, Maison Ikkoku, is one of the countless restaurants in Singapore accepting cryptocurrency payments for its services. Payment for services is made at the restaurant entrance, where users can choose from a wide range of payment options, including BTC, BNB, and ETH tokens.
The inclusion of crypto payment has become attractive to restaurants looking to leverage the large client base that holds digital assets.
The CEO of the restaurant revealed that the addition of payment in digital tokens had boosted the revenue earnings of his business.
Cryptocurrency seems to attract certain types of customers in any business. As the world recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, many employees using different crypto tokens formed the bulk of the customers.
A peek into the websites of the majority of the restaurants will reveal the variety of menus specifically targeted at clients with crypto wallets who gets to meet different players in the crypto industry like investors, traders, NFT creators and others.
The crypto-themed restaurants are so organized that many crypto enthusiasts find it appealing to visit them and enjoy the rich variety of menus on display and also get the opportunity to rub shoulders with top industry players. Payment is done via QR Code.
Strict Regulations on the Horizon
The financial regulating body in Singapore, known as the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), is currently implementing some strict regulatory guidelines for businesses that have adopted cryptocurrency.
MAS aims to turn Singapore into a crypto hub in Asia where businesses have the required regulatory framework to function optimally and know the importance of risk management in business operations.
It is reported that more than 100 businesses applied for licensing under regulations, with only a fraction of the applicants getting official approval for operation.
The licensing processes have proven difficult for businesses, making most of them transfer their head offices to other locations with crypto-friendly laws.