The Monetary Authority of Singapore has released a statement explaining why it had warned Binance, but not FTX, about its operations in the country.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has released a statement clarifying several misconceptions in the wake of the FTX collapse and bankruptcy filing.
FTX is Not Licensed to Operate in Singapore
Firstly, the regulator pointed out that FTX was not licensed to operate in the country. Therefore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore could not have protected local FTX users from its collapse nor safeguarded their assets. The MAS reiterated that it had constantly ‘warned about the dangers of dealing with unregulated entities.’
Binance Was Actively Soliciting Users While FTX Was Not
Secondly, the MAS cleared the air on why the regulator had earlier issued warnings towards Binance operating in the country but not done the same with FTX. Binance was placed on the Investor Alert List (IAL) by the MAS, but FTX was not.
The regulator explained that while both exchanges were not licensed in the country, there was a clear difference, ‘Binance was actively soliciting users in Singapore while FTX was not.’
MAS added that Binance ‘went to the extent of offering listings in Singapore dollars and accepted Singapore-specific payment modes such as PayNow and PayLah.’
As a result, MAS required Binance to stop operations in Singapore, to which the exchange abided and put in place measures such as geo-blocking of IP addresses and removing its app from the Singapore mobile app stores.
Dealing With Any Crypto Platform is Hazardous
In its concluding remarks, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said that the FTX debacle offered an important lesson: ‘dealing in any cryptocurrency, on any platform, is hazardous.’
Singaporeans Were Heavily Affected by FTX’s Collapse
The FTX saga had an enormous impact on Singaporeans. According to a report by CoinGecko, Singapore users of FTX were the second-highest number of unique visitors to FTX.com.
Furthermore, Singapore, also recognised as Asia’s crypto hub, made up 5% of global traffic to FTX due to Binance closing shop in the country in December 2021 after regulatory pressures.
The report ranked South Korea as the hardest hit by the FTX collapse, followed by Singapore, Japan, Russia and Germany.