Singapore Cryptocurrency Industry Association ACCESS Completes Independent Assessment of CoolBitX’s Sygna Bridge
Sygna Bridge, the market-ready solution designed for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) to meet the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendation 16’s “Travel Rule”, has become the first FATF Travel Rule solution to complete an independent assessment by The Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Start-ups, Singapore (ACCESS). The independent assessment evaluated the operational capability of Sygna Bridge version 2.0 through September, considering risk management, transaction monitoring and compliance reporting in accordance with the requirements set out under Singapore’s Payment Services Act (PSA).
“The inclusion of virtual assets under Singapore’s comprehensive PSA has cemented its position as a global leader in the virtual asset sector,” Sygna Bridge creator and CoolBitX CEO Michael Ou said. “By being a first-mover in meeting and even exceeding the FATF’s Travel Rule recommendations, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has brought a great deal of regulatory clarity for VASPs operating in Singapore.
“We applaud ACCESS’ efforts in bridging the gap between the PSA and the VASP market by providing industry participants with valuable understanding of the technical solution provider market, and are proud that Sygna Bridge has become the first solution provider to be evaluated under its independent assessment framework.”
ACCESS’ independent assessment of Sygna Bridge was conducted through comprehensive questionnaires, interviews, live demonstrations and cybersecurity tests over a one-month period, with results published in a 27-page assessment report. The report covers four areas, including company profile, product assessment, operations and support, as well as vulnerability assessment and penetration testing. The report details the assessment of Sygna Bridge 2.0 against various requirements laid down by MAS such as the Business Continuity Plan outlined in its Guidelines on Outsourcing for financial institutions.
“With MAS expressing the requirement for VASPs to meet the expectations laid out in the FATF’s Travel Rule in order to register for licenses under the PSA, there is a need for VASPs to understand the complex regulatory environment and mitigate risks from virtual assets,” ACCESS chairman Anson Zeall said. “We are pleased to announce the completion of our first assessment of Sygna Bridge, and look forward to fostering greater awareness and understanding on the capabilities of technical solution providers serving VASPs.”
This independent assessment framework builds upon the recently-released Code of Practice by ACCESS, which was launched on August 13 for the industry, facilitated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and developed in consultation with The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS).
CoolBitX recently released Sygna Bridge 2.0 which supports the InterVASP Messaging Standard (IVMS101), the Joint Working Group’s unifying messaging standard which comes after months of technical improvements and rigorous testing with VASP partners in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. In September, Sygna Bridge successfully demonstrated its compatibility with leading information sharing platform Travel Rule Information Sharing Alliance (TRISA) through a proof-of-concept (PoC) that enables message interoperability and mutual VASP authentication.
With the FATF highlighting interoperability of Travel Rule solutions as a crucial development needed for the industry, Sygna Bridge is actively working on interoperable solutions with other technical providers. To date, 23 VASPs have signed memorandums of understanding or service agreements with CoolBitX to begin or consider implementing Sygna Bridge, including six licensed VASPs from Japan, one global exchange group and other VASPs based in Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Switzerland, and South Africa.