Singapore Accused of Lax Oversight over SBF’s FTX Exchange

Key Takeaways:

  • Singapore's central bank responded to allegations of favoring FTX before its collapse.
  • MAS had added Binance to the IAL, but not FTX.
  • The regulatory body defended its actions in a statement.
Singapore's central bank under scrutiny over alleged favorable treatment of Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX exchange
The Monetary Authority of Singapore defended its behavior regarding its handling of FTX.

NEW DELHI ( — Singapore’s central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), is facing scrutiny over its regulatory treatment of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange, FTX.

The regulatory authority has been facing allegations of favoring FTX. The state-run investment fund, Temasek, had a $210 million investment in the troubled crypto exchange that it has now written off entirely.

Why Binance, And Why Not FTX, Ask Investors

Moreover, questions abound as to why MAS did not place FTX on the Investor Alert List (IAL). At the same time, investors question the regulatory body’s decision to place Binance on the IAL. The list warns users of financial entities that are not licensed or regulated locally.

The regulatory body argued that Binance solicited Singaporean investors, while FTX did not do any active advertising activity. However, evidence suggests the contrary. FTX was one of the partners of the Asia edition of a major crypto conference, Token 2049.

Held in Singapore, the crypto exchange’s banner was visible to every visitor.

FTX was one of the partners of the Token 2049 Asia edition
FTX was one of the partners of the Token 2049 Asia edition. Source: Token2049

Moreover, FTX was also the sponsor of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team during the Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix. Hence, MAS’s argument that FTX did not solicit investors in Singapore falls a few paces short of the truth.

Although inclusion in the IAL doesn’t necessarily mean that the included entity committed anything legally wrong, the warning to investors might keep some investors away from certain businesses.

MAS Answers “Questions And Misconceptions” Regarding FTX

The MAS released a statement addressing the many “questions and misconceptions that have arisen in the wake of the FTX debacle.

In its 15-point statement, MAS noted that it received several complaints between Jan and Aug 2021. The Singaporean authority also highlighted “unlicensed solicitation of customers by Binance” in multiple jurisdictions.

Surprisingly, MAS failed to uncover evidence that FTX solicited Singapore investors. It seems authorities in the regulatory body did not attend either the Grand Prix or the crypto conference.

Moreover, the regulatory body shirked off the responsibility of protecting investor interests by noting in its statement that “dealing in any cryptocurrency, on any platform, is hazardous.

Considering cryptocurrencies are risk assets, the above statement goes without saying. However, MAS could have maintained a Binance-like stance on FTX, helping Singapore investors avoid losing their assets in the ongoing FTX debacle.

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