Independent Reserve, a bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange, advocates for a regulatory structure that truly protects consumers to be implemented in Singapore. According to reports, this shall be in place of the current restriction on cryptocurrency advertising.
Meanwhile, the country’s central bank has rejected criticism that it could have done more to safeguard investors during the FTX fiasco.
Advice From a Crypto Firm
To secure crypto investors in Singapore, Independent Reserve has called for “urgent and practical regulatory action,” citing the recent failure of FTX as evidence.
In particular, it required authorized market participants to have access to public advertising and customer feedback, ZDNET reported.
The fintech company, originally founded in Australia in 2013, has moved to Singapore, where it has been operating legally since last October after obtaining a Major Payment Institution license to provide digital currency token services.
Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States dollars are all available as cryptocurrency trading pairs.
CEO of Independent Reserve Adrian Przelozny released a statement on Tuesday, Nov. 22, calling the FTX issue a massive setback for the overall sector.
According to ZDNET, he said more openness and responsibility are required, as is a consumer-protecting regulatory structure.
“It is imperative we look at practical steps to ensure we are able to responsibly communicate with investors in Singapore as a licensed and regulated exchange. This will prevent investors from being exposed to and trading with unlicensed entities, and avoid a potential repeat of the recent FTX events,” Przelozny stated.
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Crypto Ad Ban in Singapore
Singapore banned market participants from promoting their services on websites, social media, and public transit in January, as reported by ZDNet.
In particular, digital payment tokens or crypto services cannot be advertised through banners or pop-ups.
Potential investors would resort to search engines, forums, and social media as alternatives, which according to Independent Reserve, puts them at risk for crypto frauds and unregulated exchanges.
Allowing regulated market actors to engage local customers directly would raise knowledge of safer cryptocurrency choices, it said.
Central Bank’s Response to Claims
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) made a statement Monday on the FTX collapse, saying it was feasible to safeguard local customers by asset ringfencing even if the crypto exchange was not regulated in Singapore and operated outside.
ZDNet added that the industry regulator addressed claims it should have placed FTX on the Investor Alert List, like Binance.
MAS remarked, “While both Binance and FTX are not licensed here, there is a clear difference between the two: Binance was actively soliciting users in Singapore, while FTX was not.”
Binance accepts Singapore-specific payment methods, including PayNow, the regulator said. Several complaints were submitted against Binance between January and August last year.
MAS said there was no proof FTX recruited Singapore consumers, and transactions on the crypto exchange could not be made in Singapore dollars, but its services could still be accessed online.
Binance removed its app from local app stores and geo-blocked local IP addresses to comply with MAS’ directives to cease soliciting Singapore consumers.
MAS claimed it could not name all offshore crypto exchanges, including FTX, on its Investor Alert List.
The list only warns the public about organizations that may be incorrectly assumed to be MAS-regulated.
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Written by Trisha Kae Andrada
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