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Old 7th March 2014, 02:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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First Bitcoin ATMs open in Singapore, draws long queue from cryptography enthusiasts

First Bitcoin ATMs open in Singapore, draws long queue from cryptography enthusiasts



By Jacky | Vulcan Post – Mon, Mar 3, 2014 2:30 PM SGT


You may or may not have heard about Bitcoins.

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer payment system and digital currency which uses cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money. If you still haven’t read up much about Bitcoin, here’s an excellent article titled “Explain Bitcoin Like I’m Five“ that helps you figure out the concept behind it.

While there has been much chatter about the pros and cons of the new open source digital currency, especially following the news of the bankrupcty of Mt Gox, the world largest bitcoin exchange, that did not stop Singapore based Tembusu Terminals from setting up the nation’s first Bitcoin ATM machine. With the ATM, Singaporeans will soon be able to swop their physical dollars for virtual bitcoin.

The ATM was installed at The Spiffy Dapper, a bar in the Boat Quay district. Other than The Spiffy Dapper, the company is also talking with other retailers that accept the virtual currency to set up its ATMs on their premises. The Bitcoin ATM is also installed at CityLink Mall, and drew a huge queue when it launched last week.


Image credit: Tomas Forgac

To convert cash into bitcoin on the ATM, users have to scan a QR code from an easily downloadable bitcoin wallet on their smartphones. They can then feed bills into the machine, which will credit the digital equivalent into their bitcoin wallets. The US$5,000 (S$6,380) ATM, according to Lamassu’s website, can convert “fiat to bitcoin in 15 seconds”.

The announcement comes six days after Singapore’s finance minister said the central bank didn’t recognize Bitcoin as legal tender and had cautioned individuals about the use of virtual currencies.

“MAS currently does not regulate Bitcoins. They are not legal tender like the notes and coins issued by MAS. They are also not considered securities under the Securities and Futures Act,” said Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of MAS.

He added, “But Bitcoins are not without risk. MAS has published a consumer alert2 to warn Singaporeans about these risks. Unlike legal tender such as the Singapore Dollar, which is issued and backed by the Government, there is no legal obligation for individuals or businesses to accept virtual currencies. Virtual currencies like Bitcoin are typically not backed by an identifiable organisation. As a result, should the virtual currency cease to be accepted or the scheme cease to operate, users may not be able obtain a refund of their monies.”

While the government did not interfere with any bitcoin transactions in Singapore, neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Vietnam has seen the governments issue bans on the usage of the digital currency.





If you’d like to get yourself some of the digital currency, you can check out the Bitcoin ATM machines in The Spiffy Dapper and Citylink Mall before the government decides to remove it.

Source: http://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/fir...063001152.html

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Old 7th March 2014, 10:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: First Bitcoin ATMs open in Singapore, draws long queue from cryptography enthusiasts

Hmmm... MAS would not like it.
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Old 8th March 2014, 08:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: First Bitcoin ATMs open in Singapore, draws long queue from cryptography enthusiasts

Bitcoins not regulated here, warns MAS



Thursday, Mar 06, 2014
Yasmine Yahya
The Straits Times


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has warned consumers to be cautious about buying and using bitcoins as they are not regulated here.

The warning comes even as the bitcoin vending machine suppliers already have plans to roll out many more islandwide. The MAS told The Straits Times in a reply that it does not regulate bitcoin, including its purchase, sale or use, whether online or via other means such as vending machines.

"Virtual currencies, including bitcoin, are not legal tender and are not recognised by the MAS as an official medium of exchange or as a form of securities," it added.

The MAS also warned that consumers and merchants who use virtual currencies such as bitcoins should be aware of their risks. For example, the value of bitcoins can fluctuate greatly within a short period of time and so consumers and businesses might suffer monetary losses as a result of this volatility.

They may also be unable to obtain a refund of their money should such a scheme cease to operate and may have no legal recourse as bitcoins are not issued by any identifiable organisation.

With Singapore having six such machines so far, the number could soon double. As the machines accept only cash for bitcoins and not the other way around, the MAS refers to them as vending machines rather than ATMs.

The three bitcoin vending machine suppliers, Numoni, Bitcoin Exchange and Tembusu Terminals, say that while the number of actual transactions has not been very high, a lot of merchants have requested that they place a bitcoin machine in their shops.

These include pubs, sellers of computer and mobile phone accessories and computer game shops, said Numoni chief executive Norma Sit. Numoni launched four bitcoin vending machines in Singapore last week - at Sim Lim Square, Singapore Management University, Lucky Plaza and Funan DigitaLife Mall.

"We have 70 machines in Singapore that sell prepaid airtime for mobile phones and we are now considering converting 15 to 20 of these to also sell bitcoins.

"Some of the merchants that host our prepaid airtime machines are asking us to convert these into bitcoin machines because they know this is the way of the future and they want to get in on it early so they can start learning."

Bitcoin Exchange said response to its machine at Citylink Mall exceeded its expectations, with a queue forming when the machine went live on Friday.

"We originally planned to have four machines in Singapore by the end of the year, but we may revise this number upwards," said director Zann Kwan.

Tembusu Terminals, which has a machine at the Spiffy Dapper pub at Boat Quay, has plans to launch several more machines over the coming weeks. The bitcoin vending machine suppliers told The Straits Times they have been updating MAS about their activities and that they would make sure to follow guidelines set out by MAS.

They are treading cautiously and coming up with ways to make bitcoin transactions safer. Numoni, for example, will not enable their machines to accept bitcoins in exchange for cash as this is riskier than selling bitcoins.

Tembusu Terminals said it is working on a "know-your-customer" feature for its machines.

http://business.asiaone.com/news/bit...here-warns-mas
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Old 14th March 2014, 01:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Singapore government changes its mind, will regulate Bitcoin after all

Singapore government changes its mind, will regulate Bitcoin after all
By Terence Lee | Tech in Asia


In a reversal of its earlier stance, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, says that it will regulate virtual currency intermediaries that operate within its jurisdiction. Its goal is to address money laundering and terrorist financing risks. These intermediaries include the many Bitcoin exchanges and Bitcoin vending machines that have started operating in Singapore recently.

In a press statement, MAS says that virtual currency transactions are vulnerable to criminal use due to its anonymous nature. As such, virtual currency entities that “buy, sell, or facilitate the exchange of virtual currencies for real currencies” will need to verify the identity of their customers. They will also need to report suspicious activity to the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office.

“The requirements will be similar to those imposed on money changers and remittance businesses who undertake cash transactions,” the statement adds.

The decision is an about face to an earlier comment: “Whether or not businesses accept Bitcoins in exchange for their goods and services is a commercial decision in which MAS does not intervene.”

Despite the impending rules, MAS says in its latest statement that it still “does not regulate virtual currencies per se” as it does not consider them securities or legal tender.

MAS does not have safeguards for investments made into virtual currencies unlike existing securities, which means virtual currency transactions carry “significant risks” due to their tendency to fluctuate greatly.

“Consumers and businesses should take note of the broader risks that dealing in virtual currencies entails and should exercise the necessary caution,” says Chong Tee Ong, deputy managing director of MAS.

The move is unlikely to affect local Bitcoin exchanges like itBit and FYB-SG, which already have Know Your Customer (KYC) practices in place. Bitcoin vending machines, however, have to change the way they operate.

Tembusu Terminals, which recently raised seed funding, has a customer identification feature baked right in. Numoni, meanwhile, has implemented light-touch KYC practices by collecting a user’s mobile number. Bitcoin Exchange does not identify customers yet, but the company says it is possible to add the feature to its machine.

Bitcoin point-of-sales services would be a grey area, since they would convert bitcoin to fiat currency for merchants after a transaction is made. Nonetheless, Coinpip, a Bitcoin point-of-sales startup, already features KYC functionality. Bitcoin wallets, meanwhile, would appear to be in the clear for now.

In additional to the negative press and fears surrounding the currency, the MAS regulations could add an additional barrier to first-time adopters as they will need to submit their identification documents when using a Bitcoin service for the first time.

(See: Here’s our map showing all of Singapore’s Bitcoin ATMs)
Rules unclear and unfair?

Tomas Forgac, founder of Bitcoin POS system Coin of Sale, points out that the announcement raises several problematic questions. First, since these regulations will affect Bitcoin businesses, it’s unclear who will compensate them for the costs of implementing measures that fall in line with the new rules.

Second, MAS did not state whether these regulations apply to all Bitcoin operators or only those that do transactions above a certain amount.

Traditional money changers, after all, are only required to keep customer records for transactions above S$5,000 (US$3,950), so it would be inconsistent for the government to require Bitcoin vending machines to do the same since they often receive fiat currencies in much smaller denominations.

“And if it applies from certain threshold, what would stop someone from withdrawing many times an amount just below the threshold? Or would that be considered a suspicious transaction?” says Forgac.

Finally, the stance taken by MAS appears to be inconsistent with an earlier statement by IRAS, Singapore’s tax authority. IRAS labels Bitcoin under goods and services, which means some Bitcoin transaction would need be taxed. MAS, on the other hand, considers it a virtual currency.

Forgac asks: “If [Bitcoin] is a service, why is this required? Aircon cleaners don’t ask for my ID and don’t report suspicious transactions if I order ten cleanings in a week. If currency exchange rules apply, is it a currency? Why is there a sales tax on it then?”

On balance, however, it seems that many in the Bitcoin community welcome regulation, as long as it is applied in a balanced manner. Wee Horng Ang, operations head at Bitcoin exchange itBit, says that the new move provides “regulatory clarity for bitcoin”.

“We applaud these steps by the MAS. We focus on offering banking-level service and security to those trading bitcoin. As outfits which knowingly engage in questionable transactions are regulated out of the market, consumers win,” says Ang.

Norma Sit, managing director of Numoni, believes regulations are good for the Bitcoin community, but hopes they would be implemented with a light touch.

“It is a question of whether MAS adopts a heavy or light touch, whether it is commensurate with the size of the risk and whether it will end up stifling innovation in the mobile and cloud space,” she says.

(Editing by Josh Horwitz, photo credit: antanacoins)

The post Singapore government changes its mind, will regulate Bitcoin after all appeared first on Tech in Asia.


Source: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/singapore-...104711992.html

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Old 20th September 2018, 07:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: First Bitcoin ATMs open in Singapore, draws long queue from cryptography enthusiasts

Bitcoins can be exchanged quite easily ( https://cryptalker.com/sell-bitcoin/ ). To do this, it is enough to have a bitcoin-purse with bitcoins on the account and another purse, to which the transfer will be made. Through exchangers which are now bulk, for example, A1change, you can transfer your bitcoins to $, and throw them on a bank card. After that, find an ATM and cash out the money. You can pay for many goods without leaving home.

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