(Nov 21): The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) defended its stance on Binance.com and collapsed crypto exchange FTX, following criticisms about the differing treatment of the two firms since the regulator had previously alerted the public to Binance.com.
The “clear difference” between the two was that Binance.com was “actively soliciting” users in the city state, to the extent of offering listing in Singapore dollars among other incentives, while FTX was not, the MAS said in a statement on Monday (Nov 21). In response to “questions and misconceptions” that it was possible to protect local users who dealt with FTX, such as by ring-fencing their assets or ensuring that FTX backed its assets with reserves, the MAS reiterated that FTX wasn’t licensed in the country, and again warned about the dangers of dealing with unregulated entities.
“The most important lesson from the FTX debacle is that dealing in any cryptocurrency, on any platform, is hazardous,” the MAS said. “There is no protection for customers who deal in cryptocurrencies. They can lose all their money.”
The MAS also revealed that the country’s white-collar police started investigation into Binance.com for “possible contravention of the Payment Services Act”, referring to its rule under which it allows licensed payment and digital token service providers to operate. It said it had gotten several complaints about Binance.com between January and August last year, and there were also announcements in multiple jurisdictions of unlicensed solicitation of customers by the firm during the same period.