Vitalik Buterin. Source: a video screenshot, Grand Amphi Théatre / YouTube

Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin says the Monetary Authority of Singapore is enforcing a regulatory approach to crypto he calls a “tough balance”. While he appreciates some of the regulator’s policy choices, he also states that the MAS is at risk of following in the footsteps of many other regulators from across the world who view crypto as “weird and scary”.

“I definitely appreciate the amount of effort that [the Singaporean regulators] have been putting into it, and their willingness to explore many different kinds of applications and be supportive,” Buterin told local paper The Strait Times in an interview, replying to a question about the MAS’s approach to crypto regulation. 

“It’s interesting their willingness to try to make a distinction between blockchain usage and cryptocurrency. On the other hand, it’s sort of the mindset that every regulator has in that you want to be supportive of technology and making things easier for people, but you find cryptocurrency weird and scary,” according to the entrepreneur. 

Buterin admitted that a string of recent developments and scandals that have shaken the global crypto sector could push regulators to enforce tighter regulations on the industry. 

“The thing about the cryptosphere is that it’s high variance, and if you get a certain kind of reputation, it’s very easy to accidentally attract all of the Do Kwons,” he said, making a reference to the highly controversial co-founder of the collapsed Terra Luna ecosystem. 

Regarding the regulatory policy of separating crypto and blockchain that has been enforced by some nations, Buterin believes that “the reality is that if you don’t have cryptocurrency, then the blockchains that you’re going to have are just fake and nobody’s going to care about them.”

At the same time, speaking shortly after the collapse of major crypto exchange FTX, the entrepreneur recognized the need for introducing regulations that will ward off the people who seek to use blockchain technology for personal gains at others’ cost. 

“I appreciate the tough balance, the positions that Singapore and the MAS are [holding] there. It’s definitely true that if a country is not smart about it, then they can easily end up being stuck as being the base for all of the Do Kwon people. And that’s not necessarily something that a country would want,” Buterin said. 

“But on the other hand, I think it’s definitely possible to engage productively and get a lot of benefits”, added Buterin.

Last September, the entrepreneur joined the race for this year’s crypto-related bestseller with the release of Proof of Stake, a compilation of his writings from the past 10 years. The title was released as both a physical and digital book on 27 September. Buterin announced that his entire share of the proceeds from the book would be allocated to support open-source public goods via Gitcoin Grants.

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