The director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore says cryptocurrencies could have a future if regulated.

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According to the chairman of the nation’s central bank, cryptocurrencies have a place in Singapore’s financial sector if these digital assets are regulated. “There may be a role for crypto in future finance that extends beyond pure speculation and illicit finance,” Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the Monetary Authority of Singapore chairman, said on Wednesday at the Asia Financial Markets Forum.

Stablecoins, for example, can have a role in traditional payment systems, though these digital assets need to be regulated for illicit finance activities, including anti-money-laundering, chairman of the nation’s central bank said. The central bank is keeping an “open mind” on cryptocurrencies because the regulator wants technologies and innovation to develop, said Tharman, one of Singapore’s most influential politicians who has held roles in organizations such as the International Monetary Fund. Tharman’s comments come as Singapore builds its status as a crypto-technology hub and lays the framework for activities such as trading, listing, tokenization, and custody.

“I think the future will be one where regulated Stablecoins will have a useful role in a traditional payment system that innovates and becomes more interoperable across borders for cheap, fast and instant payments,” chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore said during his dialogue with Bloomberg News. Stablecoins are a crypto subset often pegged to fiat currencies such as the dollar. Instead of using the word crypto, Tharman said he prefers to approach the topic through a fintech lens, whereby such technologies have the potential to help large underserved markets and segments of the population that struggle to get unsecured financing.

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