Outgoing MAS Chief Ravi Menon Foresees Decline of Private Cryptocurrencies

Outgoing MAS Chief Ravi Menon Foresees Decline of Private Cryptocurrencies

by November 29, 2023

Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) Managing Director Ravi Menon predicted the decline of private cryptocurrencies when speaking at the HKMA-BIS High-Level Conference hosted by Hong Kong’s central bank, according to a Bloomberg report.

Menon criticised private digital coins by saying that they “have miserably failed the test of money because they can’t keep value.”

He has shared this view previously at the recent Singapore Fintech Festival 2023 where he mentioned that there are four contenders for digital money namely privately issued cryptocurrencies; central bank digital currencies (CBDCs); tokenised bank liabilities; and well-regulated stablecoins.

However, cryptocurrencies, plagued by volatility, have left many investors grappling with substantial losses. At the Hong Kong event, he asserted that they are not used for savings but for short-term profit.

Menon also highlighted the potential of stablecoins, which could be backed by government securities or cash, noting their innovative applications in token form.

MAS had granted in-principle approvals to three entities to issue stablecoins – StraitsX SGD Issuance, StraitsX USD Issuance and Paxos Digital Singapore.

The regulator will also be issuing “live” wholesale CBDCs to settle retail payments between commercial banks, with future applications potentially encompassing cross-border securities trade settlements.

These developments are part of a series of initiatives by MAS to explore the secure and innovative use of digital money.

Menon will be retiring at the end of this year from public service and he will be succeeded by Chia Der Jiun, the current Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Manpower on 1 January 2024.