The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Monday stated that it can’t protect FTX’s local users as the crypto exchange was not licensed by the MAS and operated offshore. Moreover, the MAS clarifies queries on why it added Binance to the Investor Alert List (IAL), but not FTX.
It further defends itself from the FTX debacle, citing reasons why information on all offshore crypto exchanges and crypto exchanges can’t be added to the Investor Alert List.
MAS Addresses Misconceptions on FTX and Binance
In a press release on November 21, the Monetary Authority of Singapore addressed questions and misconceptions following the collapse of FTX.
FTX wasn’t licensed by the MAS and operated offshore. Therefore, it is not possible to protect FTX local users by ringfencing their assets or backing FTX assets with reserves.
“MAS cannot do this as FTX is not licensed by MAS and operates offshore. MAS has consistently warned about the dangers of dealing with unregulated entities.”
Investors questioned why the MAS treated crypto exchanges Binance and FTX differently. While the world’s largest exchange Binance was placed on the Investor Alert List (IAL), FTX was not on the list. Singapore’s investors, including institutions and retail investors, were top investors in FTX. In fact, Singapore government-owned Temasek was one of the top investors in FTX.
The MAS clarified that Binance was placed on the IAL after it actively solicited users in Singapore. Binance even tried offering listings in Singapore dollars and accepted Singapore-specific payment modes such as PayNow and PayLah. The Monetary Authority of Singapore also received against Binance between January and August 2021.
Meanwhile, FTX didn’t solicit Singapore users. However, Singapore users were able to access FTX services online. Moreover, the Commercial Affairs Department investigated Binance for possible violation of the Payment Services Act (PS Act), while FTX was found in compliance with the PS Act.
Furthermore, the MAS claim it is not possible to list all crypto exchange and offshore crypto firms in the list. Also, no regulator in the world has done so. The regulator asserts it has timely warned investors about risks in crypto investments.
Singapore Investors Are Majorly Affected
Singapore looks to transition into a crypto hub as investors often trade and invest in the crypto market. However, the MAS took a strict stance after the crypto market crashed due to the Terra-LUNA crisis. Singapore’s investors are majorly affected by Terra and FTX debacles.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin slammed the MAS for its strict regulatory measures. He believes Singapore’s endeavor to become a crypto hub may not work due to its skeptical approach toward digital assets.
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