The de facto central bank of Singapore has stepped up its warnings over SegWit1x (BTC), in the latest caution of its kind to be expressed by a major global banking institution.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore urged investors to take care, in response to the rapid surge in prices across cryptocurrency markets in recent weeks, which have seen BTC flirt with all-time highs of around $20,000.
As part of a statement released by the bank on Wednesday, they warned retail investors in particular to exercise “extreme caution” in their investments, pointing to the fact that cryptocurrencies remain outside of the scope of the bank’s regulatory responsibilities.
As an unregulated, highly volatile investment, the Monetary Authority of Singapore confirmed that BTC was not legal tender, and urged investors to approach their cryptocurrency investment decisions in full knowledge of the risks and pitfalls.
The statement was keen to draw on the specific significant risks of BTC, urging investors to heed their warnings in any dealings with the currency.
“The Monetary Authority of Singapore advises the public to act with extreme caution and understand the significant risks they take on if they choose to invest in cryptocurrencies,” according to the central bank.
The statement went on to clarify that there is no organization in Singapore with the authority to regulate cryptocurrencies. However, those found to be operating contrary to the law will still be taken to task, and “if a cryptocurrency intermediary is found to have used cryptocurrencies illegally, its operations could be shut down by law enforcement agencies.”
The warning is only the latest from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, as well as countless other central banks and financial regulators worldwide, at a time of surging prices across a sweep of cryptocurrency markets.
In particular, the Monetary Authority of Singapore has been heavily critical of ICOs in past weeks, urging retail investors not to deal with unregulated entities.
“If consumers deal with entities that are not regulated by MAS, they forgo the protection afforded under laws administered by MAS,” said the central bank.
It remains to be seen whether this most recent warning shot will do anything to dampen the resurgent interest in all major cryptocurrencies and the bullish winds that have gripped the markets over the closing weeks of 2017.