Meet Angela Ang, Senior Policy Advisor at TRM and former Deputy Director at the Monetary Authority of Singapore

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Meet Angela Ang, Senior Policy Advisor at TRM and former Deputy Director at the Monetary Authority of Singapore

This month, TRM Labs welcomed Angela Ang as Senior Policy Advisor based out of Singapore, bringing with her a wealth of policy experience from both the public and private sectors. 

Angela spent over a decade at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), where she was most recently Deputy Director in charge of licensing for payment service providers. As part of the pioneering team for Singapore’s payments regulatory regime, she oversaw the development and implementation of the licensing framework as well as the assessment of several hundred payments and digital asset license applications. Prior to this, Angela held a diverse range of roles at MAS including in regulatory policy, business development and consumer education, giving her deep insight into the full gamut of policymaking considerations for global financial regulators. 

Angela also worked at Partior, a blockchain startup backed by Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek, JP Morgan and DBS Bank. She led government relations and central bank digital currency (CBDC) projects for the company, including the winning entry for this year’s G20 TechSprint on CBDCs.

Angela was recently recognized in the inaugural Fintech65 list of prominent women leaders in corporate for her contributions to Singapore’s fintech scene. 

We sat down with Angela to discuss her role at TRM and developments in the APAC digital asset regulatory landscape. 

What will you be doing at TRM?

As the newest member of TRM’s policy and regulatory affairs team, I look forward to strengthening TRM’s regulatory relationships here in APAC and partnering with regulators to achieve our shared vision of a safer crypto economy. 

Now more than ever, robust digital asset regulation that is fit for purpose is at the forefront of all regulators’ minds. As a former regulator, I am a big believer in the power of data. TRM’s blockchain intelligence capabilities, with their unique breadth of asset coverage and cross-chain analytics capabilities, hold great potential to demystify blockchain transactions and inform regulatory decision-making. 

I will also be working closely with APAC clients to better understand and address regulatory expectations, and collaborate with the industry to enhance policymakers’ appreciation of the unique characteristics and challenges of the digital asset space.  

Last but not least, I will be collaborating with various teams across TRM to ensure that our solutions continue to reflect the ever-changing needs of regulators and clients in the region, and that the insights generated by our tools are effectively contextualized for these key stakeholders. 

How do you think regulators in APAC are looking at digital asset regulation?

APAC is an incredibly diverse region with digital asset regulation at various stages of development in each country. That said, there is generally a growing recognition of the increasing role of digital assets in the overall economy, and the unique technology underpinning digital assets. Regulators around APAC are seeking to deepen their understanding of the role digital assets play in their various economies, and to apply appropriate regulatory frameworks to manage the risks.

For example, in Singapore, the current digital asset regulatory regime focuses on AML/CFT and cyber risks, with strong cautionary warnings against retail speculation in cryptocurrencies. However, MAS’ recent consultation paper indicates its intention to expand its regulatory ambit to user protection and market conduct, among others. The MAS is also consulting on a regulatory framework to credentialize stablecoins that meet its expectations. 

Other regulators are similarly accelerating regulatory efforts in wake of the FTX fallout. In Australia and Korea, the introduction of comprehensive crypto regulatory frameworks had already been set in motion. Both governments have doubled down on the importance and urgency of implementing digital asset regulation post-FTX, and are set to introduce regulation by next year. 

This is generally indicative of the direction of travel for digital asset regulation in both the region and globally. Particularly with the recent FTX and Terra fallouts, regulators will be looking more than ever to shore up oversight in areas such as market conduct, consumer protection and corporate governance, and to understand and manage contagion risks in the digital asset ecosystem. 

In your view, how can the industry and regulators work together to foster trust and safety in the digital asset ecosystem?

The digital asset ecosystem is innovating and evolving at an incredibly rapid pace. Industry players, being in the thick of the action, are well-placed to help regulators understand how the industry is growing and changing, and inform the development of regulatory frameworks that are fit for purpose. At the same time, it is important for the industry to appreciate the policy intent behind regulatory changes, and support their views and recommendations with robust data and insights. The inherent immutability and traceability of the blockchain offers great opportunities for the industry to provide such intelligence to regulators.

Ultimately, a digital asset ecosystem that is free from financial crime and powering productive economic activity is a common goal for both regulators and industry. Public-private partnership is essential in achieving this outcome. 

What excites you most about joining TRM?

Without a doubt, the people and purpose. I am thrilled to be able to work with such a humble and high performing team towards a meaningful mission of fostering safety and transparency in the digital asset economy. This resonates strongly with my personal ethos of doing good and doing well, and I look forward to contributing to the amazing work TRM is doing at this pivotal time in digital assets.

For more on the digital asset landscape in Singapore check out our TRM Talks with the MAS and leading crypto regulatory experts here:

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