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Singapore's Monetary Authority Halts Local STO Due to Regulatory Violations

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has temporarily halted a security token offering after it failed to comply with a strict advertising policy.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has prevented a local initial coin offering (ICO) from launching a security token offering (STO) in the country. The development was detailed in an announcement published Thursday, Jan. 24.

Under the current rules, all STOs have to comply with Singapore’s securities laws and are obliged to register with the MAS. In case the owners want the offering to fall under an exemption, they should be aware of conditions, including advertising restrictions, the MAS notes.

The issuer of the halted, unnamed STO intended to rely on the exemption that would allow them to launch an offering without registering with the MAS. However, the issuer failed to comply with the advertising prohibition and posted a promotional article to LinkedIn. Shortly after the MAS warning, the issuer has temporarily suspended the STO.

The MAS has also warned investors about the risks linked with token offerings, such as possible price speculation, the possibility of fraud and the lack of a proven track record from the companies. The financial authority urges customers to evaluate these risks before investing money.

As Cointelegraph previously wrote, the MAS is responsible for enforcing crypto regulation in Singapore.

In November, the authority finished editing the existing guidelines for payment providers in order to bring certain cryptocurrencies under its jurisdiction. The document introduced a mandatory licensing regime for payment service providers, who are now required to apply for one of three licenses based on the nature and scope of their crypto activities.

The MAS also took part in a blockchain trial conducted by Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX) in October. The exchange successfully tested the use of blockchain technology for tokenized assets settlement with the help of United States stock market Nasdaq, Big Four consulting company Deloitte and Singaporean tech company Anquan.

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